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France Elections 2024: President Emmanuel Macron to ‘Wait’ on Decision as Leftists Win Majority of Seats in Polls

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A leftist coalition formed to block the far-right has secured the largest number of parliamentary seats in the recent runoff elections in France, according to reports.

As reported by AP, President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance came second, with the far-right coming in third. However, no single party or coalition has achieved a majority in parliament. Despite a significant increase in parliamentary seats, the far-right fell short of expectations.

With the leftist coalition securing at least 181 seats, Macron’s centrists holding over 160 seats, and Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally with 143 seats after an initial lead, no clear majority has emerged.

The outcome of these elections in France, a nation with nuclear capabilities, holds considerable implications for the ongoing war in Ukraine, global diplomacy, and the economic stability of Europe.

The unpopular Macron will have to form alliances to govern effectively. Meanwhile, his office stated that he will “wait for the new National Assembly to organize itself” before making any decisions regarding the new government. The National Assembly is scheduled to gather in full session for the first time on July 18. Macron’s statement emphasized that he will ensure the “sovereign choice of the French people will be respected.”

Surprise polling projections indicate that the leftist coalition, formed to prevent the far-right from gaining power, has won the most parliamentary seats, with Macron’s alliance second and the far-right National Rally third.

A Somber Far Right Claims Historic Gains

Despite falling short of initial high expectations, the president of France’s far-right National Rally, Jordan Bardella, asserted significant advancements for the party. He criticized President Emmanuel Macron for “pushing France into uncertainty and instability.”

In a solemn address following the second-round vote, Bardella criticized the political strategies that resulted in the National Rally failing to meet its anticipated goals. A record number of candidates who had qualified for the runoff withdrew to consolidate opposition support against National Rally candidates, thereby boosting the chances of defeating them.

Despite this, the anti-immigration, nationalist party still achieved a historic increase in its parliamentary seat count, as projected by polling data. However, no single party secured a majority in parliament.

Leftist Leader Calls for PM’s Resignation

Leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon characterized the unexpected legislative election results as a source of “great relief” for a majority of French citizens. He has also called for the resignation of the prime minister. Mélenchon emerged as a prominent figure among leftist leaders who united unexpectedly before the two-round elections. According to polling projections, the leftist coalition leads, with President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance following closely, and the far-right in third place.

Strategic Withdrawals to Block Far Right

Opposition parties rushed to strike agreements before Sunday’s second round of voting to prevent Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally from achieving a sweeping victory in the legislative elections. Le Pen had indicated her party would only lead the government if they secured an absolute majority or something close to it.

A record number of candidates who had qualified for the second round, representing the left-wing alliance of the New Popular Front and President Emmanuel Macron’s weakened centrists, withdrew their candidacies. Their aim was to consolidate support behind candidates with the best chance of defeating opponents from the National Rally.

According to a tally by French newspaper Le Monde, a total of 218 candidates who were slated for the second round withdrew from the race. Among these, 130 were from the left-wing alliance and 82 were from Macron’s centrist alliance, Ensemble.