Shocking Upset in France: Leftists Defeat the Far-Right

World » EU | July 8, 2024, Monday // 09:30
Bulgaria: Shocking Upset in France: Leftists Defeat the Far-Right

The United Left "New Popular Front" is leading after the second round of early parliamentary elections in France, with a voter turnout exceeding 67%. President Macron's centrists have secured the second position. According to initial estimates, the "New Popular Front" will hold between 175 and 205 seats.

None of the three major blocs managed to secure an absolute majority. The Republican Party, which is the successor to the formation founded by Charles de Gaulle, is projected to obtain between 57 and 67 deputies. The turnout in the second round was just over 67 percent, which, if confirmed, would be the highest in France since 1997.

This outcome resulted from tactical moves and candidate withdrawals aimed at preventing a splintering of votes and blocking the far right's path to power. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of "Disobedient France," which is part of the left alliance, urged President Macron to hand over a mandate to the "New Popular Front," asserting that the president must concede defeat.

In Paris, Lyon, Nantes, and Rennes, the night after the second round of elections saw clashes with police and acts of vandalism, as reported by "Journal du Dimanche." Arsons were reported in the French capital, with police targeted by pyrotechnics on the Place de la République. Earlier, a rally of left-wing "New Popular Front" supporters had taken place in this area.

Marine Le Pen of the "National Rally" commented on the situation, expressing her view that France would be hampered by three groups with relatively equal influence in Parliament. She criticized the electoral agreements, claiming they would result in another year of illegal immigration, loss of purchasing power, and uncertainty for the country.

Jordan Bardella, president of the "National Rally," stated that the electoral agreements had thrown France into the hands of Mélenchon's extreme left. He lamented that the political games of President Macron and Prime Minister Attal deprived the French of a recovery policy, despite the "National Rally" making the most significant breakthrough in its history.

European reactions to the Left Front's victory were swift. In Paris, there was enthusiasm, while in Moscow, disappointment, and in Kyiv, relief. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk expressed satisfaction, noting that the worst had been avoided. A spokesman for Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats in Germany also shared this sentiment. Meanwhile, the party of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez congratulated the leftist alliance.

Far-right parties in Europe had a different perspective, with Italian parties predicting a quick collapse of the new French parliament. The leader of Portugal's far-right party, Chega, described the election result as a disaster for the economy and a tragedy for immigration.

In Nantes, demonstrators threw bottles and bombs at police, who responded with tear gas. A security officer suffered burns in an attack with a bottle of incendiary liquid. The prefecture of Rennes reported 31 arrests for acts of vandalism.

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Tags: France, Macron, elections, party

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