French left says 'ready to govern' as country faces hung parliament

Jul 09, 2024

Paris [France], July 9: France's left-wing leader Jean-Luc Melenchon has said the left is "ready to govern" after emerging as the largest political bloc in parliament, but the country faces a political deadlock as no party won a clear majority.
The New Popular Front (NFP) coalition led by Melenchon and its allies won a plurality in France's National Assembly in the second round of the parliamentary elections on Sunday, taking 187 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly, interior ministry figures show.
The result delivered a blow to President Emmanuel Macron, whose centrist Ensemble alliance managed to win 159 seats. Prime Minister Gabriel Attal offered to resign on Monday, but Macron asked him to stay on "for the time being in order to ensure the country's stability".
Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally (RN) and its allies surprisingly finished third with 142 seats despite a strong first-round showing. The centrist and leftist parties joined forces to deny the RN an opportunity to govern France.
But the rise of the far right has alarmed people, particularly minorities, as the RN become a major political player.
With none of the top three alliances winning an outright majority of 289 seats needed to form a government, the eurozone's second largest economy faces a hung parliament, uncharted territory in its modern age.
This may push Macron to either try to build a fragile coalition with moderates from the left and right or invite the left-wing NFP camp to lead the government. He may also resort to a technocratic government with no political affiliation to handle day-to-day affairs.
The fragmented results are set to weaken France's role in the European Union and farther afield and make it hard for anyone to push through a domestic agenda.
He [Macron] is in quite a difficult situation," Rainbow Murray, a professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, told Al Jazeera. "His party has fewer seats than it had before, but it's still strong enough relative to the left for it not to be obvious for him to stand down either. So I think there are going to be some quite tense negotiations."
Source: Qatar Tribune

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