Macron urges moderate politicians to regroup to defeat far right in elections

12 June 2024, 11:44

Emmanuel Macron gives a press conference
France Election. Picture: PA

The French President shocked the nation by calling a snap election following a crushing defeat for his party in European Parliamentary elections.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for moderate politicians from the left and the right to regroup to defeat the far right in general elections.

Mr Macron, a pro-business centrist, said he wants “men and women of goodwill who were able to say ‘no’ to extremes to join together to be able to build a joint project” for the country.

The President is addressing French voters for the first time since he called for a snap national election following a crushing defeat of his party by the far right in the European parliamentary vote.

His address will explain his shocking decision to dissolve the National Assembly, France’s lower house of parliament, triggering an early legislative election to take place three weeks after the far right National Rally party of Marine Le Pen triumphed at the European Union Parliament polls.

Marine Le Pen
Marine Le Pen’s far right National Rally party celebrated their results after the European poll (Pool via AP)

Mr Macron said he decided to call an early vote because he could not ignore the new political reality after his pro-European party was handed a chastening defeat and garnered less than half the support of the National Rally, with its rising star, Jordan Bardella, playing a prominent role.

The French leader, who has three years left of his second presidential term, hopes voters will band together to contain the far right in national elections in a way they did not in the European vote.

Mr Macron said at a press conference in Paris: “Things are simple today: we have unnatural alliances at both extremes, who quite agree on nothing except the jobs to be shared, and who will not be able to implement any programme.”

Sunday’s decision to dissolve parliament and send to the polls voters who just expressed their discontent with Mr Macron’s politics was a risky move that could result in the French far-right leading a government for the first time since the Second World War.

Potential alliances and France’s two-round voting system in national elections make the outcome of the vote highly uncertain.

Opposition parties on the left and right have been scrambling to form alliances and field candidates in the early legislative balloting that will take place on June 30 and July 7.

Emmanuel Macron drinks a glass of water
Mr Macron’s move to tackle the far-right in a national election is a risky move (AP)

While sharp differences between parties remain on either side of the political spectrum, prominent figures calling for a united front appear to have one thing in common: They do not want to cooperate with Mr Macron.

Despite their divisions, left-wing parties agreed late on Monday to form an alliance that includes the Greens, the Socialists, the Communists and the far-left France Unbowed of Jean-Luc Melenchon.

National Rally leader Marine Le Pen is working to consolidate power on the right in efforts to translate the European triumph into a national win and come closer to claiming power.

The far-right party, with a history of racism and xenophobia, is expected to win the most French seats in the European Parliament, potentially as many as 30 of France’s 81.

By Press Association

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