the businessman Mohed Altrad candidate

The president of the rugby club of the city presents itself without label against the outgoing mayor, Philippe Saurel.

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Mohed Altrad, The president of the Montpellier rugby club. SYLVAIN THOMAS / AFP

This time, it's official: Mohed Altrad is a candidate for the municipal elections of Montpellier. The man has a certain notoriety, even if this one is distributed in various public: born in Syria in very modest conditions, he became a brilliant company leader (n ° 1 world of the concrete mixer, n ° 1 European scaffolding), then a writer published at Actes Sud, before becoming a patron by injecting more than 30 million euros in the Montpellier Hérault rugby (MHR), the rugby club he chairs since 2011. Since then, he became the sponsor of the national team, which caused some problems to the boss of French rugby, Bernard Laporte, accused of supporting a little too his patron.

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His many caps give him time to get one more: at age 70 (one or two years, his date of birth is uncertain), he is now fighting the mayor of Montpellier. The man in his group 42,000 employees, for a turnover of 3.5 billion euros, who was the first French to receive, in 2015, the title of global entrepreneur awarded annually by the EY cabinet, therefore embarks on the political arena at a local level.

In 2016, however, he excluded this scenario by stating that, in his career, this would constitute " regression ". But, three years later, change of mind. His version is simple: politics and rugby are the same, and in both cases Mohed Altrad swears that he did not know anything about it and that he came for him. "I got involved in the rugby club. I was asked to save him. I did it "he explains. In politics, it's the same, "Notables asked me to think about the problems of Montpellier. It was January 2018 ». He replies, commissions a survey on his fame and creates the association Les Montpelliérains. For several months, he consults, seeks rallies before announcing his candidacy.

So much for the official route. At no time does he mention his conflicts with the current mayor, Philippe Saurel, on rugby and the management of the stadium and its surroundings. It is difficult to say to what extent these tensions weighed in his decision. His political position anyway is looking for. Like Emmanuel Macron during the 2017 presidential campaign, Mohed Altrad refuses for the moment to talk about his program, which will come on time, and simply says: "I'll take the best of the left. And the best of the right. With me, it will be simple, I will choose the most competent. "


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