June 18, 2024
 
  • by:
  • Source: FreePressers
  • 06/10/2024
FPI / June 10, 2024

President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday dissolved France’s National Assembly after Marine Le Pen’s conservative National Rally party trounced Macron's forces in European Union elections that according to exit polls maintained the momentum of anti-immigration and populist forces in other key EU states including Germany and Belgium.

The Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander DeCroo, announced his resignation after the defeat of his party, Flemish Liberals and Democrats, also known as Open VLD which got only 6 percent of the vote in early results.

Macron received no boost from his high-profile association with Joe and Jill Biden during the June 6 commemoration of the 80th anniversary of D Day.

France will hold new elections on June 30 and July 7, Macron announced after stunning projections based showed Le Pen's National Rally garnering around 32% of the vote, twice the support for Macron’s Renew Party.

Macron said the EU results were grim for his government, and one he could not pretend to ignore less than two months before Paris hosts the Olympics.

"This is an essential time for clarification," Macron said. "I have heard your message, your concerns and I will not leave them unanswered ... France needs a clear majority to act in serenity and harmony."

“This is a serious, weighty decision, but above all it’s an act of trust,” Macron said. “Confidence in you, confidence in the ability of the French people to make the right choice for themselves and for future generations.”

Related: Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders surf the anti-globalist wave after Brexit, Trump victory, Nov. 13, 2016

Macron’s decision to call parliamentary elections opens the door for his party, which is deeply unpopular at the moment, to shed more seats to rival parties in France’s National Assembly, the country’s lower house of Parliament.

Macron could be forced to appoint a prime minister from another party, such as the center-right Les Républicains, in a power-sharing arrangement known in France as a “cohabitation.”

“A dissolution means a cohabitation,” said Alain Duhamel, a prominent political analyst.

The National Rally, headed by 28-year-old Jordan Bardella, is set to achieve its highest-ever finish in a nationwide election.

“The president of the Republic cannot remain deaf to the message sent this evening by the people of France,” Bardella told supporters at the Parc Floral in Paris.

Le Pen, the frontrunner for the 2027 election in which Macron is unable to stand, welcomed the president's decision:

"We are ready to take over power if the French give us their trust in the upcoming national elections," she said at a rally.

Macron’s Renaissance party received just 15.2 percent in the EU election — one point ahead of the socialists led by Raphaël Glucksmann at 14 percent, according to early estimates.

The center-left under Glucksmann picked up support throughout the campaign, closing the gap with the liberals, who failed to gather momentum despite French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal’s active campaigning .

“I am proud of what have we achieved, but I don’t feel like celebrating,” Glucksmann said in response to the early results. “Everywhere in Europe, we are witnessing a wave that is shaking our democracy.”

The radical left-wing France Unbowed party, led by Manon Aubry, is expected to get 8.7 percent of the vote — roughly 2.5 percentage points above its 2019 finish. The conservative Les Républicains party, meanwhile, is projected to receive 7.2 percent of the tally.

The French Greens and the nationalist Reconquest movement led by Marion Maréchal are both expected to win around 5 percent — the minimum threshold in France to elect members of the European Parliament.

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