Emmanuel Macron Faces Political Challenge Following France's General Election Results; VIDEO

Emmanuel Macron Faces Political Challenge Following France's General Election Results; VIDEO

French Legislative election has thrown up a hung verdict in the 577-member lower house of parliament. No party or alliance reached the majority mark of 289. The leftist coalition has taken the most seats in parliament, with at least 181. Macron’s centrists have more than 160 seats. Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally have 143 seats.

Afrida Rahman AliUpdated: Monday, July 08, 2024, 06:53 PM IST
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Emmanuel Macron | AFP

It’s a peculiar situation for French President Emmanuel Macron. French Legislative election has thrown up a hung verdict in the 577-member lower house of parliament. No party or alliance reached the majority mark of 289. The leftist coalition has taken the most seats in parliament, with at least 181. Macron’s centrists have more than 160 seats. Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally have 143 seats.

This becomes a first of a kind situation of a hung assembly in France, a country that has never been run by a coalition government. It would take a serious amount of manoeuvre on the part of Macron now to have a government in place. If his party aligns with the far-left parties, it will mean a serious compromise on positions that has taken on global issues.

For instance, the Far-left alliance now called the New popular front has taken a pro Hamas stand something that is diametrically opposed to Macron’s position which aligned with the other western nations. Secondly if he appoints a leader of his own party, he will need the support of motley group of MPs.

The socialists, the greens, all of which are diverse in their ideological positions on various key issues. His other option would be to appoint a group of nonaligned seniors, prominent citizens from various fields to run the govt but that would require the approval of parliament so there is no escaping the Far-left parties. It could mean dealing with an individual called Jean-Luc Melenchon.

Melenchon has long been a figure on the left, first in the Socialist Party and as a senator. He founded the hard-left -France Unbowed party in 2016 but failed to reach the presidential runoff in 2017 and 2022. He then allied his party with the Socialists, Communists and greens to form the New Popular Ecological and Social Union

Melenchon is a divisive figure who is often at loggerheads with moderates or centrists, and to build consensus with him is sure to be a tall order for Macron and his centrist policies. His alliance fell into disarray because of divisions over the Hamas-Israel war. The France Unbowed party condemned the conduct of Israel’s war against Hamas and accused it of pursuing genocide against Palestinians. Party leaders denied antisemitism.

Political compulsions last month, led Mélenchon’s party to form another similar alliance that was quickly thrown together with the sole purpose of keeping the far right from gaining power. This alliance had more luck this time, winning the largest number of seats but will there be stability in any coalition that they are a part of? Only time will tell.

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