Macron dissolves the French parliament and calls early elections after a defeat in the EU vote

5 Min Read

French President Emmanuel Macron appears on television at the election night headquarters of the French far-right National Rally party on June 9, 2024 in Paris. Mr Macron has dissolved the National Assembly and called new parliamentary elections after a defeat in the EU vote. | Photo credit: AP

President Emmanuel Macron dissolved the lower house of the French parliament in a surprise announcement, sending voters back to the polls to elect lawmakers in coming weeks after his party suffered a humbling defeat to the far right in Sunday’s European elections.

The parliamentary elections will take place in two rounds, on June 30 and July 7.

The announcement came after early expected results from France gave the far-right National Rally party a wide lead in the European Union parliamentary elections, handing a humiliating loss to Macron’s pro-European centrists, according to French polling houses.

Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration, nationalist party was estimated to receive around 31-32% of the vote, a historic result that was more than double the share of Macron’s Renaissance Party, which is expected to receive around 15 % would reach.

Mr Macron himself was not a candidate in the EU elections and his term as president still runs for three years.

He said the decision was “serious” but showed his “confidence in our democracy, by letting the sovereign people have their say.” “In the coming days I will say what I believe is the right direction for the nation. I have heard your message, your concerns, and I will not leave them unanswered,” he said.

In the last parliamentary election in 2022, Macron’s centrist party won the most seats but lost its majority in the National Assembly, forcing lawmakers to engage in political maneuvering to pass bills.

See also  Kylian Mbappe leaves PSG for Real Madrid: French superstar leaves behind an unparalleled legacy as he begins a new chapter

With the June 9 decision, he is taking a big risk with a move that could backfire and increase Le Pen’s chances of ultimately seizing power.

A scenario in which an opposition party ultimately wins a majority in parliament could lead to a fraught power-sharing situation called “cohabitation,” with Mr Macron naming a prime minister with different views.

Ms Le Pen, who heads the National Rally group in the National Assembly, “welcomed” Macron’s move.

“We are ready,” said Ms. Le Pen, who came second to Mr. Macron in the last two presidential elections. “We are ready to exercise power if the French people place their trust in us in these future parliamentary elections. We are ready to change the country, ready to defend the interests of the French, ready to put an end to mass immigration, ready to make the purchasing power of the French a priority.” The EU election results were a blow to Mr Macron, who has championed European efforts to defend Ukraine and the need for the EU to strengthen its own defense and industry.

The National Rally’s leading candidate for the EU elections, Jordan Bardella, campaigned on restricting the free movement of migrants by implementing national border controls and rolling back EU climate rules. The party no longer wants to leave the EU and the euro, but wants to weaken them from within.

“Tonight our compatriots expressed their desire for change,” Mr Bardella said. “Emmanuel Macron is a weakened president tonight.” An official at Mr Macron’s office said the decision to dissolve the National Assembly was justified by the “historic score of the far right” that could not be ignored and the current “parliamentary disarray”. “You are never wrong when you give the people a say,” said the official, who spoke anonymously in accordance with the practice of Macron’s office.

See also  Slovaks and others go to the polls in the EU elections in the shadow of an assassination attempt

EU election projections also show a resurgence of the Socialist Party, with around 14% of the vote. The party campaigned for more ambitious climate policies and protections for European companies and workers, with around 14% of the vote.

In response to Macron’s announcement, far-left politician Francois Ruffin called on all leaders of the left, including the Greens, to unite under one banner of the “Popular Front.” “To avoid the worst, to win,” he wrote on X.

France elects 81 members of the European Parliament, which has a total of 720 seats.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *