Home News French far-right leader says National Rally ready to govern

French far-right leader says National Rally ready to govern


Jordan Bardella, leader of France’s far-right National Rally, insisted at a press conference on Monday that he would become prime minister for all French people if his party wins France’s upcoming snap election, even as he defended his party’s proposal to ban French citizens with dual nationality from certain “sensitive” jobs.

Bardella spent much of the event discussing what he would do if elected prime minister – drastically reducing immigration, toughening penalties for certain crimes, lowering energy prices – if his nationalist party wins a snap election for France’s lower house of parliament. President Emmanuel Macron called this month for It will be held in two rounds, on June 30 and July 7.

“We are ready,” Bardella told reporters at his marble venue in a posh Paris neighborhood, seeking to dispel criticism from Macron and his new left-wing coalition that the National Rally was neither fit nor worthy of governing.

Although the national rally is Latest pollsahead of the Left League and Macron’s centrist coalition, it is unclear whether the party can win enough of the 577 seats in the House of Representatives to secure an outright majority and form a government.

Macron has three years left in his term and has the power to appoint a prime minister. But the lower house can overturn his choice — meaning he will almost certainly appoint Bardella if the National Rally wins the election. That, in turn, would allow Bardella to form a cabinet and govern France, blocking Macron’s domestic agenda and potentially disrupting his defense and foreign policy, which are traditionally (but not exclusively) the prerogatives of the president.

But since Macron cannot call new legislative elections for a year and has ruled out resigning, a hung parliament without a clear majority could lead to months of instability or deadlock.

Badella denied the possibility of a centrist alliance winning a majority. But he also said he would only agree to serve as prime minister. If his party and its allies have an absolute majority.

“I’m not going to go to Matignon for personal glory and say I was there for 15 days and then was removed by a vote of no confidence,” Mr. Badella said, referring to the prime minister’s official residence. “I want power that I can exercise.”

But his acknowledgment that his government would target dual nationals and ban them from certain jobs – even if only in exceptional circumstances – has raised concerns that nationalist governments could target certain citizens and restrict their rights based on their origins, undermining France’s universal commitment to treating everyone equally.

exist A letter published in French local media On Sunday, Macron said the far right was “dividing the country” by distinguishing between “what they call real French people” and those who are considered French only because of their “documents.”

Marine Le Pen, the National Rally’s long-term presidential candidate for 2022, has dropped a pledge to make it illegal for French people to hold other nationalities. But the concept of “national priority” — giving French citizens more favorable treatment than foreigners for certain government jobs, benefits or subsidies — remains at the heart of her party’s platform. He expressed support Ban dual nationals from millions of civil service jobs.

Bardella insisted on Monday that “no French person’s rights will be taken away,” arguing that the latest proposal would apply only to a very small number of jobs in “strategic” defense or security fields, although he did not identify them. He called it a common-sense measure to prevent foreign interference and noted that similar rules already apply to foreigners.

In the current climate, he asked: “Can you imagine a French-Russian working in the Ministry of Defense?”

Under Ms. Le Pen, she served as president of the National Rally from 2011 to 2021. The party, which has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has since condemned Russia Full-scale invasion of UkraineBut it has repeatedly opposed sanctions on some Russian imports and rejected the possibility of Ukraine joining the European Union or NATO.

On Monday, Bardella described Russia as a “multidimensional” threat to France and said the country would remain “highly vigilant” against Russian interference.

Asked about his support for Ukraine, he said: “I have no intention of questioning France’s commitment, which could undermine France’s voice on the international stage and the credibility of my country.”

But he has also drawn “red lines” — sending Western troops to Ukraine and providing Ukraine with weapons capable of striking inside Russia — that set him apart from Mr. Macron. If Mr. Bardella becomes prime minister, his stance could foreshadow a clash with Mr. Macron over foreign policy. Mr. Bardella said his approach to the president was “respectful” but “uncompromising.”

Badella also denied allegations that he had reneged on key campaign promises, but he acknowledged that emergencies would take priority and other promises would be delayed.

He promised to cut sales taxes on fuel and energy such as gas and negotiate with France to exempt it from EU Joint Electricity MarketHe vowed to restore minimum sentencing for crimes, remove barriers to deporting illegal immigrants and scrap the right of children born in France to foreign parents to automatically become French citizens when they turn 18.

Bardra said he would work to overhaul Macron’s pension reforms, which last year raised the legal retirement age from 62 to 64. He warned that it would take time but said those who started working before age 20 could, under certain conditions, retire with a full pension at age 60 as early as next autumn.

How his plans would pan out was sometimes unclear. Asked repeatedly how to make up a 7 billion euro ($7.5 billion) revenue shortfall from lower taxes on energy sales, he mentioned possibilities such as renegotiating France’s contribution to the EU budget but gave no indication of how much those measures would bring.

Whether voters will worry about these details is unclear, after a heated campaign Shocked French politicsAfter seven years in power, Macron has become a controversial figure, his centrist coalition is unraveling and leading politicians close to him say they need to chart a new, more independent path for the 2027 presidential election, in which Macron cannot run.

Gérald Darmanin, Macron’s longtime interior minister, has said he would resign if the National Rally or the New Popular Front wins. Last week, he said bluntly The French president dissolved the Chamber of Deputies, “killing” France’s existing majority – which, while significant, is not an absolute majority.

“I’ve known Edouard Philippe for a long time and we said that tomorrow we need to create something new,” Mr. Darmanin said. Tell LCI TV “We need to build the foundation that will undoubtedly allow us to win in 2027,” he said Sunday when asked about a recent meeting between the two men.

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