After Defeat, Macron Faces Pressure to Build a Bloc

Parties at the extremes call for prime minister to resign
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2022 5:25 PM CDT
Updated Jun 20, 2022 5:52 PM CDT
Left, Right Election Gains Weaken Macron
Supporters of hard-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon celebrate Sunday at his election night headquarters.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

(Newser) Update: France's opposition parties called on President Emmanuel Macron to assemble a coalition to fill the void after parliamentary elections left him without a majority on Sunday. Macron is unlikely to be able to pass his agenda, Reuters reports, unless he finds support elsewhere. The far right and far left have already demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne. Macron has made no public comment but reportedly plans to begin negotiations with rival parties on Tuesday. Unless he cuts an overall deal, his centrist group will have to negotiate one bill at a time with rivals. "Such a fragmented parliament will likely result in political deadlock," an analyst said. A government spokeswoman said, "We're going to have to be creative." Our story from Sunday follows:

With significant gains made in Sunday's elections by a new left alliance and the far right, President Emmanuel Macron's coalition in between was headed toward losing control of France's National Assembly. His centrist coalition, which won a landslide five years ago, will still have a plurality, projections show, but will fall well short of a majority. Analysts were labeling the results a major defeat for Macron, the Guardian reports, calling into question how he'll win approval for his domestic agenda in parliament.

The vote in the second round of the elections will increase parliament's clout, per the New York Times, after Macron had effectively marginalized it. He was just reelected, and this would be the first time in 20 years that a newly elected president hasn't won a clear legislative majority. Estimates show Macron's alliance capturing 230 of 577 seats, per France24. Its main opposition will be a historic coalition of leftist parties that's led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s France Unbowed and includes the Socialists and the Greens. That group could end up with 150 to 200 seats.

A big winner appears to be Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally party, which is headed toward holding more than 80 seats, the most ever. The anti-immigration party expanded its geographic range in the country, after Macron soundly beat Le Pen in the presidential race. "We will be a firm opposition," she said in a speech Sunday. Macron now will have to cut deals with other parties to win approval of his policies. "It's a disappointing first place," a government spokesperson said, "but it's a first place." (Read more French elections stories.)

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