President Macron dissolves French parliament, calls for snap election after massive defeat

by | Jun 10, 2024

President Emmanuel Macron has dissolved the lower house of France’s parliament in an unexpected move, prompting voters to return to the polls in the coming weeks to elect new lawmakers. This decision follows a significant defeat for his party at the hands of the ‘far-right’ in the European elections on Sunday.

 

The legislative elections are scheduled to occur in two rounds, on June 30 and July 7. The dissolution announcement came after initial projections showed the far-right National Rally party leading substantially in the European Union’s parliamentary elections, marking a major setback for Macron’s pro-European centrists.

According to French opinion poll institutes, Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration, nationalist party is estimated to receive around 31%-32% of the votes. This historic outcome more than doubles the projected vote share of Macron’s Renaissance party, which is expected to secure around 15%.

Macron was not a candidate in the EU elections, and his term as president continues for another three years. He described his decision to dissolve the parliament as serious but emphasized his confidence in democracy, allowing the sovereign people to voice their opinion.

In the most recent legislative elections in 2022, Macron’s centrist party won the most seats but lost its majority in the National Assembly. This loss forced lawmakers into political maneuvering to pass legislation.

With Sunday's decision, Macron is taking a significant risk that could backfire and increase Marine Le Pen's chances of eventually gaining power. If an opposition party wins a majority in parliament, it could lead to a complex power-sharing arrangement known as “cohabitation,” where Macron would have to appoint a prime minister with differing views.

France is electing 81 members of the European Parliament, which consists of a total of 720 seats.

 

AP News

 

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