Macron Calls Snap Election, Dissolves French Parliament After Defeat in EU Vote

Joseph Lord
By Joseph Lord
June 9, 2024France
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Right-leaning parties gained across Europe during the 2024 parliament elections. French President Emmanuel Macron called a snap parliamentary election later in June in the wake of an upset against his rival Marine Le Pen and her National Rally party.

French President Emmanuel Macron has dissolved the French National Assembly and called for a snap election as the right-wing National Rally party heads to a sweeping victory in European Union (EU) parliamentary elections.

In a video addressing the French people, Mr. Macron announced, “I have decided to give you back the choice of our parliamentary future through the vote.

“I am thus dissolving the National Assembly this evening.”

The French president set the first round of elections for June 30, and the second round for July 7.

The decision comes as the National Rally Party—the party of Mr. Macron’s two-time presidential rival, Marine Le Pen—looks to be on track for a stunning rout of Mr. Macron’s Renaissance Party in the European Parliament.

According to the most recent results, Ms. Le Pen’s party is estimated to be ahead with around 31.5 percent of the vote to the Renaissance Party’s 15.2 percent.

The snap election move represents a gamble for Mr. Macron, who’s currently serving his second term in office as president.

Should the National Rally Party gain enough seats in the new election, it will effectively derail Mr. Macron’s legislative agenda for his remaining two years in office.

He is unable to seek reelection in 2027 due to term limits.

Mr. Macron called the decision to dissolve the national parliament “serious and weighty.”

“But it is before all an act of confidence,” he said. “Confidence in you, my dear compatriots, in the capacity of the French people to make the most just choice for themselves and for future generations.”

Ms. Le Pen, seen as the frontrunner in the 2027 elections, appeared overjoyed at the results, calling the election “historic.”

Ms. Le Pen has long represented a populist voice of growing French angst with the immigration policies of the last two decades.

Despite having been defeated by Mr. Macron in both the 2017 and 2022 French presidential elections, Ms. Le Pen’s party has made steady gains, and could now be on track to snatch legislative power from the French president.

“We are ready to take over power if the French give us their trust in the upcoming national elections,” Ms. Le Pen said during a rally after the results came in.

Before the National Assembly was dissolved, Mr. Macron’s party held 169 seats to Ms. Le Pen’s 88. The lower chamber has 577 seats in total.

Should Mr. Macron’s gamble fail, he’ll be left with control of defense and foreign policy, but will be highly limited in domestic power.

Wave of Right-Wing, Populist Victories

The National Rally’s victory in France comes amid a wave of populist and right-wing victories across Europe.

After the elections, center-right parties will still maintain the majority in the European Parliament, but the right-wing and populist voices are set to have a much louder voice in this European Parliament than they have in the past.

In Germany, the populist Alternative fur Deutschland, or the Alternative for Germany Party came in second with around 15.6 percent of the vote, still falling far behind the center-right alliance party, which came in first with around 30.3 percent of the vote.

In Italy, the populist Fratelli d’Italia, or Brothers of Italy Party came in first place with 28.6 percent of the vote. The center-left party came in a close second with 25.6 percent of the vote.

Victories across these three contests are a big deal, as this trio of states represent the three biggest members of the EU.

But the right also enjoyed victories in other contests across Europe.

In the Netherlands, populists picked up five seats.

In Hungary, the right-wing Fidesz–KDNP Party Alliance came in first place with nearly 44.3 percent of the vote.

In Spain too, conservatives won, gaining 9 seats and stripping one seat away from the runner-up socialist party.

In spite of these victories, however, the center-right European People’s Party—the party of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen—will still hold the most seats, and is projected to win around 181 seats of the European Parliament’s 720.

Now, centrist parties in the European Parliament will work in the coming weeks to find a pathway to form a coalition of at least 361 seats.

From The Epoch Times

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