{{ subpage.title }}

French President Emmanuel Macron at a polling booth during the first round of French parliamentary elections

Ludovic Marin via Reuters

What We're Watching: France's final round, ISIS leaders caught

Voters decide Macron’s future

On Sunday, France’s election season comes to a close with the final round of parliamentary elections. The big question: Can President Macron’s Ensemble! Party win a majority of the National Assembly’s 577 seats? If so, or if it gets close enough that a few willing partners from other parties can lend votes on individual pieces of legislation, then he’ll have a chance to advance his ambitious reform agenda. If not, his second-term plans will quickly stall. Macron’s best hope is that a few right-wing voters fearful of potential victory for Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s leftist coalition will limit the number of seats it’s able to win, and that a few leftist voters who adamantly oppose far-right opposition leader Marine Le Pen will back Macron’s centrists for control of seats since there’s no left-wing candidate. Macron has long pledged to boost the government’s financial health by pushing the standard retirement age from 62 to 65. But without at least a near-majority, Macron and his prime minister will struggle even to pass basic reforms meant to cut government spending and help businesses weather tough economic times.
Read Now Show less

People participate in the March for Our Lives on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

What We're Watching: US gun-control deal, Indian protests, Macron's majority, Biden goes to Saudi

US Senate reaches compromise on guns

On Sunday, a group of 20 US senators announced a bipartisan framework on new gun control legislation in response to the recent wave of mass shootings. The proposal includes more background checks, funding for states to implement "red-flag" laws so they can confiscate guns from dangerous people, and provisions to prevent gun sales to domestic violence offenders. While the deal is much less ambitious than the sweeping ban on assault weapons and universal background checks President Joe Biden called for after the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, it's a rare bipartisan effort in a deeply divided Washington that seeks to make at least some progress on gun safety, an issue on which Congress has been deadlocked for decades. Biden said these are "steps in the right direction" and endorsed the Senate deal but admitted he wants a lot more. The announcement came a day after thousands of Americans held rallies on the National Mall in the capital and across the country to demand tougher gun laws. Will the senators be able to turn the framework into actual legislation before the momentum passes?

Read Now Show less

In 1992, supporters of abortion rights mingle with abortion opponents at a State House rally marking the 19th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

Reuters

What We're Watching: Roe in trouble, Russia Victory Day, ISIS-K terrorizes Afghanistan, Macron vs the left

US Supreme Court reportedly set to overturn Roe vs. Wade

The US Supreme Court is set to overturn the landmark abortion rights decision of Roe vs. Wade, according to a leaked draft of the decision reported by Politico late Monday. The draft, written by Justice Samuel Alito, explains the court’s apparent plan to reverse the 1973 ruling, noting that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start” and that it’s time to “return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” If true, this means the court is siding with Mississippi in its push to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. While SCOTUS drafts do not always reflect final decisions, Eurasia Group’s lead US political analyst Jon Lieber believes the draft is a sneak peek of what’s to come. “Court watchers seem to think the document is a legitimate draft, and given the makeup of the court it sure reads like the majority decision I expected to see,” Lieber says. “So I think this is both real and reflects the reality that Roe vs. Wade will be overturned this year."

Read Now Show less

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he arrives to deliver a speech after being re-elected as president.

REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Can Macron unite a divided France?

Reflecting on Emmanuel Macron’s victory in France's presidential runoff, Tom McTague, writing for The Atlantic, referred to British PM Winston Churchill’s disdain for another French leader: Charles de Gaulle. Churchill was asked if de Gaulle was a great man. “He is selfish, he is arrogant, he believes he is the center of the world,” Churchill replied. “You are quite right. He is a great man.”

“Something similar might be true of Emmanuel Macron,” wrote McTague.

Macron can afford to be smug about some of his achievements. After all, he is the first French president to win a second term in some 20 years – the French are famous for rejecting incumbents. The 44-year-old centrist, a former banker, has only run for elected office twice – for the presidency in 2017 and 2022 – and he clinched the top job both times.

Read Now Show less

Emmanuel Macron et Marine Le Pen

Frederic Chambert / Panoramic

What We're Watching: Le Pen-Macron debate, round two in Ukraine, China's big Pacific move, Israel-Hamas flare-up

France’s moment of truth: Le Pen and Macron go head-to-head

Ahead of the second round of voting in France’s presidential elections on April 24, President Emmanuel Macron and his rival Marine Le Pen will go head-to-head in a live TV debate on Wednesday. Le Pen, head of the far-right National Rally, won 23% percent of the first-round vote on April 10, just five points behind the incumbent. (Macron’s lead in the polls is now believed to be as much as 12 points.) Indeed, the debate will be a crucial moment in the tighter-than-expected race for the Élysée. Le Pen is vying for a comeback: last time the two candidates debated in the 2017 runoff, she was accused of being light on policy and heavy on insults. Le Pen will want to emphasize her populist, anti-establishment credentials that have proven popular with the electorate – particularly young voters – while playing down claims that she is chummy with alleged war criminal Vladimir Putin. Macron, on the other hand, will try to play up his progressive bonafides to appeal to younger voters who cast their first-round vote for far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon – who reaped 22% of the vote – but are inclined to stay home on Sunday.
Read Now Show less

Campaign posters of President Emmanuel Macron and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

Xose Bouzas / Hans Lucas

What if Le Pen leads France?

The results are in from the first round of France’s nail-biter of a presidential election. Marine Le Pen, head of the far-right National Rally, has come in four points behind the incumbent, President Emmanuel Macron, reaping 23.3% percent of the vote, according to Ifop, a pollster.

Meanwhile, France’s far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon came in third with 20% of the vote, while center-right candidate Valerie Pécresse, the first woman to head the party of Charles de Gaulle, flailed.

The world is now anxiously waiting to see what happens in two weeks’ time, when the French return to the polls for the second and final round of voting to decide whether Macron or Le Pen should be sent to the Élysée.

Read Now Show less
Macron Likely to Win French Presidential Election | Ukraine Aid | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

France's presidential election tightening as first round begins

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Delphi, Greece:

What's happening with the sanctions and help to Ukraine?

Well, it's moving forward quite heavily, both with now deliveries of more substantial weapons systems, and the key thing, of course, is going to be what happens with the imports of gas if that is stopped. Coal, oil, that's less important, but gas, that's the key thing. And I think we are moving in that direction.

What about the French presidential elections?

Well, we got the first round coming up on Sunday. I think Macron is going to win, but it looks like it's going to be tight. And the drama is going to be more substantial prior to the second decisive round on 25th of April. It's still likely to be Macron, but less money on that than was the case a month ago.

Read Now Show less
Paige Fusco

Is this Marine Le Pen’s moment?

French President Emmanuel Macron thought he’d have his reelection in the bag by now.

But days out from the first round of voting, far-right firebrand Marine Le Pen is giving the incumbent a run for his money. Macron is still ahead – with a current poll putting him at 27%, just three and half points ahead of Le Pen. Still, the forecast is not what Macron – an ideological chameleon who has tried very hard to establish himself as Europe’s diplomat in chief – had been expecting.

Why is Marine Le Pen, who once tied her political fortunes to her father Jean-Marie – founder of the National Front Party who’s faced charges for antisemitic and racist rhetoric – doing so well?

Read Now Show less

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter, Signal

Latest