November 30, 2022

Macron Loses Absolute Majority in Parliament as Opposition Surges

6 min read

PARIS – Voters bargain in French legislative elections President Emmanuel Macron Sunday was a major blow as its central coalition lost its absolute majority in the lower house of parliament to a far-right rebel. A deviant alliance of leftist partiesComplicating his domestic agenda for his second term.

With all the votes counted, Mr Macron’s central coalition won 245 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly, the lower house of parliament and the most powerful. This was more than any other political group, but less than half of all seats, and far less than 350 seats were won by Mr Macron’s party and its allies. When he was first elected in 2017..

For the first time in 20 years, a newly elected president failed to get an absolute majority in the National Assembly. This will not completely stop Mr. Macron’s domestic agenda, but it will potentially put a huge wrench in his ability to pass bills – re-transferring power to parliament after the first term in which he Top-down style of governing Most were backward legislators.

Mr Macron’s government may have to find a coalition or form a short-term coalition on the bills, but it was not clear on Sunday night how it would do so.

The results were a stark warning from French voters to Mr Macron, who just a few months earlier had won a re-election against the far-right leader, Marine Le Pen. “Slap” was the headline of Monday. On the front page Left-leaning daily Liberation.

Elizabeth BourneMr Macron’s prime minister – who won his race in Normandy – said on Sunday that the results were “unprecedented” and that “this situation is a threat to our country, given the challenges we face.”

“From tomorrow we will work to form a majority of action,” he said without elaborating, adding that the government would work with other political parties to “make a good deal”.

Mr Macron appeared aloof from the parliamentary election and campaigned sparingly, which appeared to be more engaged than France’s diplomatic efforts to support Ukraine in its war against Russia – which did not affect Sunday’s results. Yes, because French presidents can run most of their foreign policy at will.

Earlier, talking about the airport tarmac. A trip to Eastern Europe that took him to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, last week.He urged voters to give him a “solid majority” in the “highest interests of the nation”.

But many French voters chose to stay home instead – only 46% of French voters went to the ballot box, according to estimates, the second lowest turnout since 1958 – or Mr Macron’s ultra-radical. To vote for opponents.

Many of Mr Macron’s close allies or cabinet members who were running in the election lost their race, a stern rebuke to the president, who vowed that ministers who failed to win a seat would have to resign. Will National Assembly President Richard Fernandez and his minister for green transitions, Emily de Monchalin, both lost.

Mr Macron’s government spokeswoman Olivia Gregoire told France 2 television on Sunday that “we have disappointed a certain number of French people, the message is clear.”

“It’s a disappointing first place, but it’s still the first place,” he said, adding that Mr Macron’s coalition would work with all those in parliament who want to move the country forward.

The final result is a coalition of left-wing parties – including the far-left France Inbound Party, the Socialists, the Greens and the Communists, led by veteran left-wing leaders. Jean-Luc Melanchon – 131 seats, it is the largest opposition force in the National Assembly. At the National Rally, Ms. Le Pen’s far-right party won 89 seats, a historic record.

Sociologists teaching at cotienne Ollion, Ecole Polytechnique, said Sunday’s results were “a double whammy”.

“It’s the absence of an absolute majority – we saw it coming but we didn’t expect it to be at that level – and on the other hand it is a strong development of the national rally, which is quite impressive,” he said.

With a slim relative majority – the youngest in the 63-year-old Fifth Republic of France, according to Mr Olivier – and a strong opposition on the left and far right, Mr Macron’s centrist coalition is likely to struggle to pass bills. Can Forcing him to reach out to opposition lawmakers on some votes.

Mr O’Leary said there was “uncertainty” at the moment about how the president would be able to govern through his prime minister.

It was not immediately clear which other allies Mr Macron’s coalition could find to secure a working majority, although it appeared that the Les Republicans, the mainstream conservative party, had won 61 seats. , Will fit the most.

Mr Macron will also rely heavily on his central allies than in his first term, especially to pass controversial plans, such as raising his retirement age from 62 to 65. This could benefit parties like Horizons. , A center-right group founded by Mr Macron’s former prime minister, Edward Philip, is a more financial hawk. The Horizons are expected to win about 25 seats.

“We are used to seeing the French system focused on the presidency because it is the most powerful political office in the country,” said Oliver Rosenberg, an associate professor at the Science Po in Paris. But “these legislative elections remind us that our political system is also a parliamentary system.”

Both Mr Melenchen and Mr Le Pen said on Sunday they had succeeded in disrupting Mr Macron’s second term.

“The defeat of the presidential party is complete,” Mr Melenchen told supporters in Paris. “We have reached the political goal we set for ourselves.”

Mr Melanchin failed to achieve his initial goal of gaining control of the National Assembly and forcing Mr Macron to become prime minister. Following the reconvening of the lower house later this month, major policy differences between coalition members over issues such as the European Union could resurface.

Still, it was a strong demonstration for left-wing parties. It was widely written during the presidential election as a frustrating split..

At the other end of the political spectrum, Ms. Lee Pan’s national rally won more seats than a handful now, and more than expected after Ms. Lee Pan. Mr Macron loses presidential election in AprilAnd then ran a weak campaign for parliament.

Ms Le Pen herself was easily re-elected to her seat in a district in northern France.

“This group will be the largest group ever in the history of our political family,” she promised her supporters in a speech on Sunday, defending the party’s tough stance on immigration and security.

Mr Macron’s condition is not unique to modern French history. In 1988, under President François Mitterrand, the Socialist Party also failed to win an absolute majority in the National Assembly, forcing it to occasionally force left- or right-wing lawmakers to pass a bill. But the government also had access to tools – such as the ability to force a bill without a ballot, exposing the government to a vote of confidence – which is now much more limited.

Sunday’s vote was also marred by record low turnout, a warning sign for Mr Macron, who has promised to rule the people for a second term, and growing voter dissatisfaction with French politics. Is proof.

“There’s a problem with representation,” said Audrey Leroux, 44, of Amiens. Mr Macron’s hometown is in northern France.And avoided the ballot box on Sunday.

Ms Leroux, who was heading to clothing stalls in one of Amiens’ open markets, said she felt “the most important thing has already been decided” by the end of the presidential race.

But Sunday’s result could disprove it, as Mr Macron could be forced to compromise to pass bills, and opposition forces are expected to form key committees, such as the powerful Finance Committee, which oversees the state budget. she does.

“There are going to be incredible opportunities for you,” Mr Melinchen told his left-wing lawmakers on Sunday. “You have a great fighting tool at your disposal.”

Adèle CordonnierAssisted in reporting from Amiens.

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