Marine Le Pen: The far right wins in the French Parliament A “seismic event”


PARIS (AP) — Far-right leader Marine Le Pen said Monday that her party’s extraordinary rise in the country’s legislative elections was a “historic victory” and a “seismic event” in French politics.

Many voters in Sunday’s poll opted for far-right or far-left candidates, depriving President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance of a direct majority in the National Assembly.

Le Pen’s National Rally won 89 seats in the 577-member parliament, up from a previous total of eight. On the other side of the political spectrum, the left-wing Nupes coalition, led by extremist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, won 131 seats to become the main opposition force.

The centrist alliance of Macron Together! won the most seats – 245 – but lost 44 seats from a right-wing majority in the National Assembly, France’s most powerful parliament.

The result of the legislative elections is highly unusual in France, and the strong performance of Le Pen’s National Rally and Melenchon’s coalition – made up of his own far-left party, France insoumise, socialists, greens and communists – will make the more difficult task for Macron. to implement the program on which he was re-elected in May, including tax cuts and raising the retirement age in France from 62 to 65.

“Macron is a minority president now. (…) His pension reform project is buried,” a beaming Le Pen said on Monday in Hénin-Beaumont, her stronghold in northern France, where she was re-elected for a new five-year term in parliament.”This is a historic victory…a seismic event.”

She told reporters: “We are entering parliament as a very strong group and as such we will claim every post that is ours.” As the largest single party in parliament – Macron and Melenchon both lead coalitions – she said the National Rally would seek to chair the parliament’s powerful finance committee, one of eight committees that oversee the national budget. .

Le Pen’s far-right party now has enough lawmakers to form a formal group in the National Assembly and seek seats on other committees, including a parliamentary inquiry committee and those that focus on defense and foreign policy.

In addition, the National Rally party now has enough seats – more than 58 – to trigger a motion of no confidence in the government that could lead to a vote of no confidence.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne hinted on Sunday evening that Macron’s alliance would seek to find “good compromises” with lawmakers from various political forces.

Macron himself has yet to comment on the election results.

Volunteers count ballots at a polling station on June 19, 2022 in Bischeim, near Strasbourg, eastern France.

AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias

His government will still have the ability to govern, but only by negotiating with legislators. The centrists could try to negotiate on a case-by-case basis with the centre-left and Conservative party elected officials, with the aim of preventing opposition politicians from being numerous enough to reject the proposed measures.

The government could also occasionally use a special measure provided for by the French Constitution to pass a law without a vote.

A similar situation occurred in 1988 under Socialist President François Mitterrand, who then had to seek Communist or centrist support to pass laws.

The latest parliamentary election was once again largely defined by voter apathy – with more than half of voters staying home.

“I don’t even know who was running,” said Lucie Gault, a 20-year-old medical student in Paris. She had no interest in the election campaign and did not vote on Sunday.

“I’m none of that and even if I voted, I wouldn’t even know what I was voting for,” Gault said.

Aurélie Cruvilier, a bank worker in the French capital, said the result of Sunday’s vote was puzzling because “we are voting for candidates we don’t like when maybe we should be voting for ideas or at least important issues”.

Follow all AP articles on the 2022 French presidential election at https://apnews.com/hub/france-election-2022




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