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Macron calls for moderate politicians to unite against far right in elections

Macron calls for moderate politicians to unite against far right in elections

Macron calls for moderate politicians to unite against far right in elections

Macron calls for moderate politicians to unite against far right in elections

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  • He hopes voters will unite to contain the far right in national elections, unlike in European ones.
  • He referred to an alliance formed by parties on the left as “unusual and incoherent.”
  • Macron believes the far right is the main danger in the upcoming election and asks who will govern the country.
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On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron urged moderate politicians from the left and the right to regroup to defeat the far right in the upcoming national legislative elections he had called for after his party’s crushing defeat in the European parliamentary vote. Macron, looking somber, addressed French voters for the first time since his stunning decision on Sunday to dissolve the National Assembly, France’s lower house of parliament.

His move triggered an early legislative election scheduled to take place in two rounds on June 30 and July 7, three weeks after the far-right National Rally party of Marine Le Pen triumphed at the vote for the European Union Parliament.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Macron stated that he decided on the risky move because he could not ignore the new political reality after his pro-European party received a chastening defeat and garnered less than half the support of the National Rally with its star leader, Jordan Bardella.

Unlike his recent national addresses, in which Macron focused on Russia’s war in Ukraine and ways Europe should forge a common defense policy, independent of the United States, and shore up trade protections against China, the French president stuck to his country’s internal issues favored by the surging right, including curbing immigration, fighting crime, and combating Islamic separatism in France.

With three years remaining in his second presidential term, Macron hopes that voters will unite to contain the far right in national elections, unlike in European ones. He urged “men and women of goodwill who were able to say ‘no’ to extremes on the left and the right” to come together and build a joint project for the country.

“Things are simple today: we have unnatural alliances at both extremes, who quite agree on nothing except the jobs to be shared, and who will not be able to implement any program,” Macron said during a press conference in Paris.

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While projecting the kind of enthusiasm that helped bring him to the presidency in 2017, analysts note that French voters are more pessimistic about their future and perceive Macron as increasingly out of touch with real-life and pocketbook problems.

Macron acknowledged some faults committed by his pro-business centrist party while harshly criticizing parties on the right for teaming up with Le Pen’s National Rally, which has a history of racism and xenophobia. He scathingly referred to an alliance formed by parties on the left as “unusual and incoherent.”

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“We’re not perfect, we haven’t done everything right, but we have results… and above all, we know how to act,” Macron said of his Renaissance party, adding that the “far right (is) the main danger” in the upcoming election.

“The question is who will govern the country tomorrow?” he asked. “The far right and a few associates, or the democratic, progressive bloc? That’s the fundamental question.”

Sending voters to the polls who had just expressed their discontent with Macron’s politics was a risky move that could result in the French far-right leading a government for the first time since World War II.

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Potential alliances and France’s two-round voting system in national elections make the outcome of the vote highly uncertain. Macron expressed confidence in the French voters’ intent to refuse to choose the extremes of both sides of the political spectrum. He asserted that he was not falling into defeatism and stated that he would serve out his second presidential term regardless of the outcome of the legislative vote.

“I think the French are intelligent, they see what’s being done, what’s coherent and what’s not, and they know what to do,” Macron said. He added: “I don’t believe at all that the worst can happen. You see, I’m an indefatigable optimist.”

He dismissed accusations that his decision to call snap elections would assist the far-right in seizing power in France.

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Macron's decision comes as he already lacks a majority in the French...

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