Friday, March 24, 2023

Explained: Macron’s party lost majority in French Parliament, what will happen now?

As the French elections concluded on Sunday (19 June), Emmanuel Macron’s party lost majority In Parliament, just two months after he was elected to a second term as President of France.

Exit polls predicted an uphill battle for Macron’s coalition of centrist parties called the Ensemble, but was still expected to win more than half the seats, especially as he became the first French president to win re-election in nearly 20 years.

But the results have led to a hung assembly, with both a coalition of left-wing parties called NUPES and the UDC, a coalition of right-wing parties, making major gains. The results have left the path ahead uncertain for politics in the country, at a time when Europe faces serious issues of inflation and energy security amid the war in Ukraine, and a re-thinking of the EU’s role in Europe.


Presidential and legislative elections are held separately in France. The latter are held to elect members of the National Assembly, the lower house of the country’s 577-member parliament. Elections are direct, meaning that the people of each constituency directly vote to elect their representatives.

Presidential elections are also direct; Which is why the change in power dynamics soon after Macron’s re-election in April has surprised some. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called the results a “democratic blow”.

Although Macron’s coalition is still the largest in the National Assembly with 245 seats, it falls well short of the majority mark of 289. This means they will need the support of other coalitions and parties to get their policies passed. The government realized this – Le Maire said that if there was a lack of support from others, “it would block our ability to reform and defend the French”. Some have suggested that if Macron finds it impossible to advance his agenda, he may call mid-term elections.

In the two months since Macron’s election, rising inflation has been a major concern for voters, but voter apathy and avoidance are also noticeable. The BBC reported that the turnout was only around 46%, meaning that more than half of the voters did not exercise their franchise.

way forward

The five major coalitions, including the president’s own, form a major part of the legislative mix. The largest coalition is led by the centre-right La République en Marche! (LREM) party, which was founded by Macron in 2016. Closeness to the European Union and economic liberalism are part of its main agenda.

The second largest coalition is the left-wing New Ecologic and Social People’s Union (NUPES), led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a strong critic of the president. He is unlikely to support Macron’s liberal economic policy – ​​so, while Macron wants to raise the retirement age to 65 from the current 62, Mélancheon wants to lower it to 60.
European media reports suggest that Macron is most likely to reach out to Les Republicans (LR), another centre-right party with which the LREM has most in common.

Marine Le Pen, who lost to Macron in the presidential election in April, is also finding success, with his party sending 89 candidates – the most in its 50-year history – to the lower house of parliament.

Elections and Europe

Mélancheon’s coalition is now the second largest bloc in parliament, and has said in the past that given the size of France’s economy, it can successfully negotiate not to comply with EU orders if its interests are compromised. It was, Reuters reported.

“France is dominant in Europe. It accounts for 18% of the European economy. It is not the position of Greece (Alexis) Tsipras that negotiated with 2% of the European economy,” Adrian Quatenense, a senior member of Mélenchon’s party, told Franceinfo radio. Told. Tsipras, now the leader of the opposition in Greece, was prime minister from 2015 to 2019, and signed a bailout agreement with lenders that included drastic austerity measures.

There may be no significant change in the position taken by France regarding the war in Ukraine, as Macron, Le Pen and Mélenchon all objected to the US-led Western Coalition’s strategy to isolate Russia. is of.

However, the presence of enthusiastic centrists, hard left and hard right members in the lower house would mean that Macron would face difficulty in building consensus on many divisive issues.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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