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Macron calls the French elections shocking after the defeat of the far right by Le Pen


By Michel Rose and Tassilo Hummel

PARIS (Reuters) -French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday he would dissolve parliament and call new parliamentary elections later this month after he was defeated in European elections by Marine Le Pen’s far-right party.

Macron said the results were a disaster for his government, and one he could not ignore. In a high-risk political gamble less than two months before Paris hosts the Olympics, he said lower house elections would take place on June 30, with a second round of voting on July 7.

Macron’s completely unexpected decision could leave him in a virtually powerless position if Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) party wins a parliamentary majority.

Led by the telegenic 28-year-old Jordan Bardella, the RN won about 32% of the vote in Sunday’s vote, more than double Macron’s 15%, according to initial exit polls. The Socialists came within a radius of Macron with 14%.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel and Michel Rose, editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten)

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