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Macron says French will ‘make the right choice’ in snap polls

France will go to the polls to vote for a new National Assembly on June 30
Photo via AFP
Photo via AFP

President Emmanuel Macron said Monday he was confident the French would make the “right choice” in snap elections he called after the far right beat his centrist alliance in EU elections.

Many view Macron’s move as a high-risk gamble aimed at keeping the far-right National Rally (RN) out of power when his second term ends in 2027.

“I am confident in the capacity of the French people to make the right choice for themselves and for future generations,” Macron wrote on X.

“My sole ambition is to be useful to our country that I love so much.”

France will go to the polls to vote for a new National Assembly on June 30, with a second round on July 7, Macron announced late Sunday.

Macron noted that, including the RN, far-right parties in France managed to take almost 40 percent of the vote in the EU elections in France.

In a televised address, he warned of the danger of “the rise of nationalists and demagogues” for France and its place in Europe.

He said he knew he could count on voters to “choose to write history instead of being subjected to it”.

Macron hopes to win back the majority he lost in the lower house after winning a second term in 2022 legislative elections.

But some fear the anti-immigration RN could instead win, forcing Macron to work in an uncomfortable coalition with a far-right prime minister. Read more

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RN vice-president Sebastien Chenu on Monday said the party’s 28-year-old leader Jordan Bardella would be its contender for the post.

“Jordan Bardella is our candidate” for the prime minister’s office, he told the RTL radio broadcaster.

Bardella became the leader of the RN aged just 27.

He took over from Marine Le Pen, who has been trying to rid the party of the racist and anti-Semitic imprint left by her father and party co-founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Le Pen, who was runner-up in the last two presidential elections, has remained party leader in parliament and is largely expected to run again in 2027.

The centre and left said they would be rallying to win as many parliament seats as possible at the end of the month.

The secretary general of Macron’s Renaissance party, Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne, will be “fully engaged” in the battle for parliament seats as well as continue his job as minister, his team said.

Socialist party chief Olivier Faure called for the setting up of “a popular front against the far right”.

“The far right is not just at the gates of power, but has a foot in the door,” he told the France Info radio broadcaster, after the RN’s score in the EU elections.

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Emmanuel macron

French

EU elections