Home News What you need to know about France’s snap election

What you need to know about France’s snap election

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President Emmanuel Macron risky France’s decision to hold early legislative elections has backfired, allowing the far right to Leading the first round The vote took place on Sunday.

But French people will return to the polls next Sunday for a second round of voting to elect representatives to the 577-seat National Assembly, the lower and more important chamber of the French parliament.

France is in an unpredictable situation, and the future of Macron’s second term is at stake. Nationalist, anti-immigration national rallyThe government led by Jordan Bardella has never been closer to governing than it is now.

Here’s what you need to know about the election.

When Mr. Macron Re-election in 2022his party failed to win an outright majority. His centrist coalition has since governed with a slim majority but has had difficulty passing some bills.

Last month, the national rally race soared to the top European Parliament electionsThe centrist coalition led by Macron’s Ennahda party was a distant second.

After the election results came in, with Macron’s seat count reduced to just three years left in his term, the president dissolved parliament. He was not obliged to do so, but he saw it as inevitable – opposition lawmakers had threatened to overthrow his government in the fall. He said he believed early elections were the only way to respect the will of the people.

“Dissolving the European Union is the only possible option,” Macron wrote in a letter. letter Last month, he announced a decision to French voters. He is the first president to dissolve the National Assembly since 1997.

Official Results Ministry of the Interior issued show National Rally The party and its allies won about 33% of the vote in the first round of elections.

The New Popular Front – a broad left-wing coalition of parties including the Socialists, Greens, Communists and the far-left France Insubordinate – received about 28% of the vote.

Macron’s centrist Ennahda party and its allies won only about 20% of the vote.

Participation in the first round was nearly 67%, an unusually high figure that reflects voters’ deep interest in the high-stakes race and their belief that their vote could fundamentally change the course of Macron’s presidency.

This election has had a profound impact on the French political situation. Promoting rare unity on the left,create Chaos on the mainstream right and weaken Macron’s centrist coalition.

Anti-Semitism It is an important topic,as well as Economic issues. The game has already Focus on France’s fragile fiscal situation and a legislative deadlock that could undermine efforts to address the problem.

The president is the most powerful political office in France, with broad powers to govern by decree. However, most major domestic policy changes and key legislation (such as spending bills or Constitutional Amendment.

Unlike the other chamber of the French parliament, the Senate, members of the National Assembly are directly elected by the people and can overthrow the French cabinet through a vote of no confidence. The Chamber of Deputies also has greater legislative freedom and usually has the final say if the two chambers disagree on a bill.

Most importantly, the composition of the National Assembly determines how France is governed.

If a new anti-Macron majority emerges, Macron would be forced to appoint a political rival as prime minister, a so-called “co-governance,” which would significantly change France’s domestic policy and disrupt its foreign policy.

Only the National Rally seems capable of winning enough seats to secure an outright majority. If that happens, Macron will have no choice but to appoint Bardella as prime minister. He could try to appoint someone else, but that would run counter to the election results, and National Rally lawmakers could quickly overturn that person with a vote of no confidence.

The National Rally is France’s most prominent nationalist, anti-immigrant far-right party. It has won local elections and sent nearly 90 lawmakers to the Chamber of Deputies in 2022, but has never held national power.

The party, originally called the National Front, was founded in 1972 and its members include those who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. Its founding president, Jean-Marie Le Pen, is an open racist. Publicly disparaging the Holocaust.

Le Pen’s daughter, Marine Le Pen, came to power in 2011 and has devoted herDe-demonize the partyShe distanced herself from her father’s anti-Semitic comments, even He was ousted in 2015She also expanded the party’s platform to include wallet issues.

But some members Continue to be under attack The party wants to drastically reduce immigration, make it harder for foreigners to become French and give French citizens priority over non-residents in areas such as social welfare.

Le Pen ran for French presidency in 2012, 2017 and 2022 but lost all three times, twice to Macron.

Le Pen’s protégé Bardella officially took over as party chairman in 2022. The 28-year-old Bardella, the son of Italian immigrants, grew up in the suburbs of Paris and was recently re-elected to the European Parliament. He is gentle and well-dressed. He embodies the National Alliance’s efforts to reshape its image.

That is uncertain. Mr Macron has few options on how to proceed.

The president could try to build a new coalition, but France is not used to doing that, unlike GermanyThe three main blocs expected to dominate the chamber – the far right, the left coalition and Macron’s centrist coalition – have vastly different agendas and, in some cases, are deeply hostile to each other.

It remains unclear how France will move forward if it cannot muster a valid majority.

One possibility being discussed by analysts is the creation of a caretaker government to run the country’s day-to-day affairs until a political breakthrough emerges, as Happened in Belgium. But this also departs from French tradition.

Without a clear majority, the country could face months of political deadlock or instability. Macron has ruled out resigning. New legislative elections cannot be called Another year later.

France has 577 constituencies, each with one seat, covering metropolitan France, overseas departments and territories, as well as French citizens living abroad. France awards seats to the candidate who receives the most votes in each constituency.

Any number of candidates may compete in the first round of elections in each district, but there are specific thresholds for entering the second round.

While in most cases the runoff will be between the two candidates with the most votes, it is possible for three or even four candidates to participate if they can get 12.5% ​​of the registered voters in their respective districts.

Such situations are usually rare, but high participation makes them more likely, with more than 300 three-way runoffs following the first round last week. Many parties, especially on the left, said they would withdraw their third-place candidate from the race, where the National Rally is leading, to avoid splitting the vote and help prevent the far right from winning an outright majority.

The person who receives the most votes in the runoff will win the election.

In some cases, a candidate who receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round wins outright, but only 76 of the country’s 577 legislative seats were won that way in Sunday’s election.

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