Culture

French leftists win most seats in elections, pollsters say; lack of majority threatens turmoil


Olivier Faure, First Secretary of the Socialist Party, clenches his fist after the second round of the legislative elections, Sunday, July 7, 2024 at the party election night headquarters in Paris. A coalition on the left that came together unexpectedly ahead of France's snap elections won the most parliamentary seats in the vote, according to polling projections Sunday. The surprise projections put President Emmanuel Macron's centrist alliance in second and the far right in third. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)

By John Leicester, Lori Hinnant and Sylvie Corbet | Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — A coalition of the French left that quickly banded together to beat a surging far right in legislative elections won the most seats in parliament but not a majority, according to polling projections Sunday, a stunning outcome that threatens to plunge the country into political and economic turmoil.

The projections put President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance in second, no longer in control of parliament, and the bruised far right in third.

With no bloc securing a clear majority, France faces uncertainty that could rattle markets and its economy, the European Union’s second-largest, and cast a shadow of political instability over the Paris Olympics opening in less than three weeks.

Olivier Faure, First Secretary of the Socialist Party, clenches his fist after the second round of the legislative elections, Sunday, July 7, 2024 at the party election night headquarters in Paris. A coalition on the left that came together unexpectedly ahead of France’s snap elections won the most parliamentary seats in the vote, according to polling projections Sunday. (Aurelien Morissard/Associated Press)

Final results are not expected until late Sunday or early Monday in the highly volatile snap election that redrew the political map of France even before votes were cast, galvanizing parties on the left to put differences aside and join together when Macron announced just four weeks that he was dissolving parliament and calling the election, in a huge gamble that the president hoped would shore up his centrist alliance.

It does not appear to have paid off for the deeply unpopular president. Projections forecast that his alliance would no longer be the largest single group in parliament, possibly by a long way. The National Rally party of Marine Le Pen greatly increased the number of seats it holds, but fell far short of its hopes of securing an absolute majority that would have given France its first far-right government since World War II.

In Paris’ Stalingrad square, supporters on the left cheered and applauded as projections showing the alliance ahead flashed up on a giant screen. Cries of joy also rang out in Republique plaza in eastern Paris, with people spontaneously hugging strangers and several minutes of nonstop applause after the projections landed.

Jordan Bardella, Le Pen’s 28-year-old protégé who’d been hoping to become prime minister, rued that the outcome of the vote “throws France into the arms of the extreme left.”

The most prominent of the leftist coalition’s leaders, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, urged Macron to invite the New Popular Front coalition to form a government. The alliance, he said, “is ready to govern.”

The projections, if confirmed by official counts, will spell intense uncertainty for a pillar of the European Union, with no clarity about who might become prime minister — and the prospect that Macron will be forced to govern alongside someone opposed to most of his domestic policies. The results will influence the war in Ukraine, global diplomacy and Europe’s economic stability.

The polling projections are based on the actual vote count in select constituencies.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said he would resign …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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