French President Macron Calls for New Elections After Election Defeat

French President Macron Calls for New Elections After Election Defeat

In a surprising move, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the dissolution of the lower house of parliament on Sunday, calling for new legislative elections on June 30 and July 7. This decision comes after Macron's centrist Renaissance party suffered a stinging defeat in the European Parliament elections, trailing far behind Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally party.

According to initial projections, the National Rally secured around 31-32% of the votes, a historic result that more than doubled the approximately 15% gained by Macron's party. Le Pen's anti-immigration, nationalist party campaigned on limiting free movement of migrants and dialing back EU climate rules, tapping into widespread frustrations.

Macron, who was not on the ballot himself, acknowledged the far-right's "historic score" could not be ignored. "I've heard your message, your concerns, and I won't leave them unanswered," he stated, vowing to outline his vision for the country in the coming days.

The President defended his decision as reflecting "confidence in our democracy" and giving "the sovereign people" a voice. However, the move is seen as a significant gamble that could increase the chances of Le Pen eventually taking power.

If the opposition wins a parliamentary majority, France could face a period of cohabitation, with Macron forced to appoint a prime minister from an opposing party – potentially Le Pen herself. "We're ready to exercise power...ready to turn the country around," Le Pen declared.

For Macron, who has championed a strong, united Europe able to confront challenges like the war in Ukraine, the EU election results represent a major blow. The far-left also made gains, with leader Francois Ruffin calling for a united "Popular Front" to counter the far-right's rise.

As France heads to early legislative polls, the stakes are high for Macron's pro-European agenda and the direction of one of the EU's founding nations. The surprise dissolution has upended French politics and set the stage for a high-stakes battle against rising populist

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