Macron: Parties must cooperate after he loses control of Parliament | France

Emmanuel Macron said, on Wednesday, that leaders of French opposition parties all agree on the need to avoid political stalemate and that they must now learn to compromise, as he faces the biggest crisis of his career and an unprecedented political impasse after losing control of Parliament.

In his first comments since his centrist party slid more than 40 seats from an absolute majority in Sunday’s parliamentary election, Macron said deals must be found across party lines and that over the coming weeks he will seek to establish a working majority.

I cannot ignore the deep fissures and divisions engulfing our country and which are reflected in the new state make-up [national] Macron said in a televised address on Wednesday evening.

Macron had full control of parliament during his first term in 2017. But voters who re-elected him president in April introduced a hung parliament on Sunday, angry at high inflation and his perceived apathy.

“We will have to make clear within the next few days how much responsibility and cooperation the different formations in the National Assembly can accept.”

The historic rise of Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration far-right National Rally made it the largest single opposition party.

A coalition of left-wing parties also made significant gains, led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s hard-left party, the Unpardoned Party of France, which now holds around 72 seats and is now the third largest party in parliament. Others in the left coalition include the Socialists and the Greens.

Le Pen, who came second to Macron in April’s presidential election after promising to cut value-added tax on fuel and tire Muslim headscarves in all public spaces, hailed the victory of her new party group in the National Assembly on Wednesday. With 89 new members, this is the largest number of far-right lawmakers in the French Parliament in recent history.

“Millions of the French have been denied fair representation in parliament for decades, but they are represented today,” she said.

Historically, Le Pen’s party has performed poorly in parliamentary elections when the two-round vote did not include proportional representation, but this time they bucked the trend.

The new number of far-right parliamentarians included a large number of local councilors who demonstrated that the far right had successfully expanded at the grassroots level across France, beyond its strongholds in the post-industrial northeast and its stronghold in the south. There has been a rise in the far right in the southwest and in the Gironde, in some areas traditionally held by the left. The party expanded into Normandy, Burgundy, central France, the north-east, and across vast stretches of the Mediterranean coast.

Le Pen claimed that her deputies included new profiles that better represented French society. Junior legislators for her party included three police officers, three former journalists and a seniors’ caregiver.

One of the new far-right MPs from Normandy, Katjana Levavasseur, was a supermarket cleaner. The 52-year-old said she wanted to advocate for “the employment of France’s unskilled workers who, like me, get up early in the morning to earn €11.75 an hour”. She described herself as living proof “that you can start from nothing and end up in Parliament”.

Joris Buffett, a 29-year-old delivery driver, was elected for the far-right of Allier in central France. “I am from the real world. I have been working since I was 16,” he told the local newspaper, La Montagne. “I can see the cost of living crisis, everyone is taxed, people are tired.”

Far-right Jose Borin, 50, who is also from the working class, was the first blind MP to enter Parliament. He used to work in a music store as a pianist and was the former vice-champion bodybuilding for France. He completely lost his sight in 2008 due to a genetic condition, telling Le Parisien this week: ‘I wasn’t elected because of it, I didn’t talk about it in the press, but it’s a point of great pride for me. It proves that anyone, even with a disability, can He has dreams and ambitions.

Le Pen’s party, which immediately set out to prepare for the next presidential election in five years at the end of Macron’s final term, hopes to use parliament as a way to ensure respect and visibility as other parties continue to accuse him of racism and injustice. She is anti-Muslim, saying her anti-immigration statement to keep France in favor of the French is unconstitutional.

“We will be a resolute opposition, but we will also be a responsible opposition, respectful of institutions and always constructive,” Le Pen said.

The party, burdened with debt, will also get a major funding boost from its new parliamentary group, which will help it pay off a loan from a Russian bank that was carved out for the election campaign in 2014.

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In a separate development on Wednesday, French prosecutors said they were investigating a state minister after rape allegations were brought against her. The allegations date back to the time when Chrysola Zakaropoulou, Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, worked as a gynecologist, according to French magazine Marianne.

The Paris Hospital Service said it was not aware of any complaints against it. AFP reported that the Foreign Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

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