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President Macron Dissolves French Parliament After Far-Right’s Strong EU Election Showing

President Emmanuel Macron has made a surprising move by dissolving the lower house of France’s parliament, following a humbling defeat for his party by the far-right in the recent European elections. This decision will send voters back to the polls in the coming weeks to choose lawmakers.

The legislative elections are set to take place in two rounds on June 30 and July 7. The decision to dissolve the parliament came after initial projections from France indicated a significant lead for the far-right National Rally party in the European Union’s parliamentary elections. This outcome dealt a significant blow to Macron’s pro-European centrists.

The National Rally party, led by Marine Le Pen, was estimated to receive around 31%-32% of the votes, more than double the share projected for Macron’s Renaissance party, which was expected to reach around 15%.

Macron, who wasn’t a candidate in the EU elections, stated that the decision to dissolve the parliament was a “serious” one but demonstrated his “confidence in our democracy, in letting the sovereign people have their say.” He acknowledged the concerns expressed by voters and promised to address them in the days to come.

This move by Macron carries significant risks, as it could potentially increase the chances of Le Pen eventually coming to power. If an opposition party were to win a parliamentary majority, it could lead to a complicated power-sharing situation known as “cohabitation.”

Le Pen welcomed Macron’s decision, expressing readiness to exercise power if the French people place their trust in her party in the upcoming legislative elections. The EU election results were particularly challenging for Macron, who has advocated for stronger European cooperation, especially in defense and industry.

The Socialist Party also saw a resurgence in the EU elections, campaigning on more ambitious climate policies and protections for European businesses and workers.

Reacting to Macron’s announcement, far-left politician Francois Ruffin called for unity among left-wing leaders, including the Greens, under a single “Popular Front” banner.

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

Source: AP

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