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France faces political deadlock

​France's President Emmanuel Macron looks and gestures after his vote in the second round of France's legislative election.

France's President Emmanuel Macron looks and gestures after his vote in the second round of France's legislative election.

Eliot Blondet/ABACAPRESS.COM

After the right-wing National Front looked poised to win the most seats in France’s first round of parliamentary elections, left-wing parties and Emmanuel Macron’s centrist allies worked together to fight back. The big question now is whether they can work together to lead France going forward.

The NPF was created as a coalition of left-wing parties to pull as many votes from the far-right as possible. They then teamed up with the centrists to pull over 200 candidates from three-way races where the right had a chance of clinching a seat. The strategy worked, resulting in the New Popular Front – the coalition of left-wing parties – winning 182 seats, Macron’s centrist allies winning 163, and the right-wing National Rally winning 143 after Sunday’s vote.

But now that the NPF and the centrist coalitions have defeated their common enemy, they share little common ground. Many parties in the NPF, for example, are adamantly opposed to Macron’s pension reforms and economic agenda. Meanwhile, since they won the majority of the vote, the NPF is looking to wield more power. Far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, whose party won about 75 of the NPF’s seats, is proclaiming that Macron has a “duty” to name a prime minister from the left’s coalition. But internal divisions over economic and foreign policy are likely to cripple the bloc.


The upshot: Since none of the three got remotely close to the 289 seats needed for a majority, and they don’t seem prepared to work together, the country is likely hurtling toward political gridlock and instability.

GZEROMEDIA

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