France Election: Macron shocked by Le Pen showing
Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
President Emmanuel Macron understood that he faced a stern challenge from the alliance of the hard-left, socialists, and the Greens. The National Rally (Rassemblement National – or RN) party under Marine Le Pen was expected to win between 20 and 40 seats. However, the RN is projected to have won approximately 89 to 90 seats. Therefore, while Macron was arrogantly parading in Ukraine, his own party (the centrist Ensemble -Together alliance) was facing an array of political forces that became emboldened by his aloofness.
Marine Le Pen is a nationalist. However, she took the route to dampen the excesses of her father. Thus, the RN party toned down certain extremist areas compared with the National Front (FN). Le Pen is still a nationalist and decries the excesses of multi-culturalism. Therefore, Le Pen (in her mind) wants to protect the unique traits of French culture – along with France being more independent – concerning the European Union and NATO.
Le Monde says, “For the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic, the far right has stormed into the Assemblée Nationale with 89 MPs, compared to six in the previous elections. The Rassemblement National (RN) will field three times the group of 32 MPs who were elected under a proportional representation system in 1986. The RN even has more MPs than Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s La France Insoumise (LFI), prompting the party’s interim president, Jordan Bardella, to say shortly after 8 pm that the RN “is the leading opposition group.”
The Guardian reports, “The rightwing party Les Républicains, which was in power under Nicolas Sarkozy, suffered losses but took 64 seats. This was seen as a respectable showing after its catastrophic score in the presidential election, when its candidate, Valérie Pécresse, took less than 5%. The right and its centre-right allies, the UDI, could now be courted as potential parliamentary allies for the government.”
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the far-left, was jubilant. His alliance of Communists, socialists, and the Greens – under the name NUPES – came a clear second.
The BBC reports, “In a rousing speech to his supporters, Mr. Mélenchon said the result marked the moral failure of “Macronie”, accusing the ruling party of enabling the far right by refusing to give clear guidance in seats where the left was running head to head with Marine Le Pen’s party.”
Yet, the words of Mélenchon signify that the ruling elites don’t fear the alliance he formed. After all, in Germany, two Green Party ministers are among the most pro-NATO politicians who support backing Ukraine to the hilt. Therefore, Mélenchon – similar to Macron – fears the growing influence of Le Pen.
Projections are Ensemble (244 seats), NUPES (141 seats), RN (90 seats), the conservative LR and its allies (75 seats), and UDI (3 seats) – with a collection of parties with 48 seats.
The Wall Street Journal said, “French President Emmanuel Macron has lost his majority in the National Assembly, as voters in France’s parliamentary elections delivered a blow to his pro-business agenda and positioned leaders on the far-left and far-right to wield unprecedented influence.”
It seems that Macron will seek a deal with the conservative LR. If so, the far-left – and nationalist forces – will be kept at bay in the short term. However, their voices will be heard even louder!
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