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Thursday, December 01, 2022

Macron holds post-election talks with French party leaders

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President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday held talks with France’s main party leaders in an attempt to show he is open to dialogue after his centrist alliance failed to win an absolute majority in the parliamentary elections.

The meetings at the Elysee presidential palace come after Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne formally offered her resignation on Tuesday, in line with tradition after parliamentary elections. Macron immediately rejected the offer and retained the current government.

Macron is together! alliance won 245 seats in Sunday’s parliamentary elections – 44 seats short of a majority in the National Assembly, France’s most powerful house of parliament.

The left-wing Nupes coalition won 131 seats to become the main opposition force. The far-right National Rally won 89 seats in the 577-member chamber, compared to its previous eight.

Macron has held successive meetings with opposition members, including Republican President Christian Jacob, Socialist Party leader Olivier Faure, and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Macron also met with representatives of his own party and allied movements. Other meetings were scheduled for Wednesday.

Discussions were aimed at finding “potential constructive solutions” to the situation, according to Macron’s office.

Macron has not yet publicly commented on the election results.

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With most seats in the National Assembly, his government still has the power to govern, but only by negotiating with legislators. To avoid potential deadlocks, Macron’s party and allies may try to negotiate with center-left and conservative lawmakers on a case-by-case basis.

Macron was re-elected in April on an agenda that includes measures to increase purchasing power, tax cuts and raising the minimum retirement age from 62 to 65.

After her meeting with Macron, Le Pen said he was “listening,” but “does he hear? We’ll see.”

She said she told him her party’s MPs would be part of the opposition but did not want to do “systematic obstruction”.

“If measures are proposed that go in the right direction … we will vote for them. If they go in the wrong direction, we will change them. If they are not changed the way we want, then we will oppose them.” she said.

On his way out of the Elysee, Jacob said the Republicans, who hold 61 seats, would not enter into any “treaty or coalition” with Macron’s centrists. However, he has opened the door to vote in favor of some measures if it is in line with his party’s platform.

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He particularly mentioned pension changes, as conservatives, like Macron, are in favor of raising the retirement age.

The Socialist leader, Olivier Faure, told reporters “it is possible to move forward”, but “we will not approve policies that are contrary to the commitments we have made to the French.”

Faure called for a measure proposed by the left-wing coalition to bring the monthly minimum wage from around 1,300 euros to 1,500 euros.

Macron will also soon have to deal with another issue: a government shuffle. Three ministers – out of the 15 who ran for re-election – have lost their seats and will not be able to stay in government under the rules he has set.

While keeping himself busy at home, it is expected that the situation in parliament will not destabilize Macron’s international agenda. The French president has considerable powers over foreign policy, European affairs and defense.

Macron will travel to Brussels for a European summit scheduled for Thursday and Friday. He will then go to a G-7 meeting in Germany next week, followed by a NATO summit in Spain and a brief visit to Portugal.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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