France: President Emmanuel Macron loses parliamentary majority in unprecedented setback
French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday lost his parliamentary majority in a major setback to his plans. The result comes following a big victory by a newly formed left-wing coalition and the extreme right in the recently concluded National Assembly elections. As per Reuters, the outcome may throw French politics into disarray and increase the threat of stalled legislative or tangled alliances.
Meanwhile, the country's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire described the result as a "democratic shock." He stated that Macron will have to persuade new parties to join his coalition and that if they do not collaborate, it would hinder the power to safeguard the French. Notably, a hung parliament will require some power-sharing and compromises among parties which is rare in France.
As per reports, the result will bring uncertainty to the country as there is no set script for how things will now unfold. Such a result where the president failed to get an outright majority in parliamentary elections was in 1988. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said the outcome is a risk for the country adding that Macron's camp needs to seek new alliances.
According to Reuters, if the parliamentary impasse persists, Macron may call for a snap election. "The rout of the presidential party is complete and there is no clear majority in sight," said an Opposition leader and hard-left veteran Jean-Luc Melenchon while addressing the cheering supporters. Meanwhile, the outcome was termed as a "slap" for Macron by the left-wing Liberation.
Pollsters, as per reports, predicted Macron's Ensemble alliance getting 230-250 seats, the left-wing Nupes alliance 141-175 seats, and Les Republicains 60-75 seats. Left-wing parties were seen to triple their score from the previous parliamentary election in 2017. According to preliminary forecasts, far-right leader Marine Le Pen's National Rally party might get 10 times the number of MPs, with as many as 90-95 seats.
According to political commentators, Macron must now decide whether to form a coalition with the conservative Les Republicains, who finished fourth, or to form a minority administration that compromises. Meanwhile, government spokeswoman Olivia Gregoire claimed that Macron and his allies would get support from moderates whether on the right or left. She claimed moderate Socialists would also be on their side.
Macron became the first French president in two decades to be re-elected in April. He could win the popular elections due to his capacity to further reform the euro zone's second-largest economy depends on gaining support for his plans from moderates on both the right and left outside his alliance. Voters rallied behind him to keep the far-right out of power.