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France’s Leftist Coalition Pulls Off Shock Victory in Upset for Far Right and Macron’s Centrist Gov’t

HeadlineJul 08, 2024

In France, the recently formed leftist coalition the New Popular Front pulled off a surprise victory in the second round of parliamentary elections Sunday. The left-green alliance came together in a bid to stave off the far right after Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party made major advances in the first round and in recent EU elections. But the New Popular Front, which won 182 seats in the National Assembly, still fell short of the 289 seats required for an absolute majority. Sunday’s results come as a major blow to not only the far right, but to French President Emmanuel Macron, who called the snap election in the hopes French voters would keep his centrist coalition in place. Macron’s Prime Minister Gabriel Attal offered to resign, but Macron asked him to stay on temporarily. The head of the progressive France Unbowed party, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, spoke following his coalition’s victory Sunday.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon: “The president has the power. The president has the duty to call on the New Popular Front to govern. … It is ready. The New Popular Front will respect the mandate according to the vote cast for its candidates. Our given word will be respected. The New Popular Front will apply its manifesto, all its manifesto and nothing but its manifesto.”

The New Popular Front has vowed to raise the minimum wage, to cap the price of essential foods and utilities, and to throw out Macron’s hugely unpopular pension reform, which raised the retirement age. The group says it will reimpose taxes on the wealthiest and corporations. The New Popular Front also says it will recognize Palestinian statehood, after Macron’s government earlier this year refused to do so. We’ll have more on the French elections after headlines.

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