Macron has taken a radical gamble that could backfire


  • President Emmanuel Macron has called early parliamentary elections in France.

  • It came after a major victory for rival Marine Le Pen’s National Rally in the European Parliament vote.

  • This could dissolve Macron’s coalition, jeopardizing cohabitation with an opposition prime minister.

French President Emmanuel Macron shocked the world on Sunday by calling early elections in France.

The move came after a big victory for his rival Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party at the European parliamentary elections. Macron’s centrist alliance achieved a 14.6% vote, compared to the far-right National Rally’s staggering 31.4%.

The French president’s defeat by far-right nationalists was expected. But that wasn’t the case with his response.

There is now a chance that Macron “might have to govern with his nemesis,” Daniel Hamilton, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins University, told SAIS. CNBC.

“His gamble is to use the three years before the next presidential election to show that they have done very poorly and that the voters will reward him one way or another,” he said.

The early elections in France

Macron said the decision to hold early elections was “an act of trust” and that he believed “in the ability of the French people to make the best choice for themselves and for future generations,” according to a translation from The guard.

“I have confidence in our democracy and let the sovereign people have their say. I have heard your message and your concerns, and I will not let them go unanswered,” he said.

He presented it as a choice for voters: give him a mandate or risk being governed by far-right nationalists.

Le Pen said her party was “ready to take power if the French give us their trust in the upcoming national elections.”

Investors responded by selling French stocks and bonds. On Monday, the country’s Cac 40 stock index fell as much as 1.8%, to its lowest level since February. Financial times noted.

More volatility is likely in store. The elections, which will take place between June 30 and July 7, could threaten Macron’s influence – which has steadily declined since the formation of the current coalition government in November 2021.

‘This is a heavy defeat for Macron’

Macron has three years left in his term as president of France, meaning he will remain in charge of foreign policy, justice and defense.

However, the early elections could likely put an end to the current coalition, which consists of Macron’s party, Renaissance, the Democratic Movement, Horizons, En commun and the Progressive Federation.

Macron may have to form a civil society government with a prime minister from an opposition party, such as the National Party or Les Republicains.

They would have a huge say in France’s domestic and economic policies.

Alain Duhamel, a veteran political analyst, told the FT that this outcome is inevitable: “A dissolution means a cohabitation.”

According to the FT, the decision to call early elections was a high-stakes attempt to hinder the National Rally’s Marine Le Pen on her path to succeed Macron as president in 2024.

But the plan could backfire if the far right continues to dominate the vote.

“This is a serious defeat for Macron, as he has been president for seven years and he has said for a long time that his goal is to fight the far right,” Bruno Cautrès, an academic and pollster at Sciences Po in Paris, told FT.

Antonio Barroso, deputy director of research at the consultancy Teneo, told CNBC that “the available information suggests that Macron has called an election that he could lose.”

Representatives for President Macron did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read the original article Business insider

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