Thursday, April 11

Macron doubts between a “coalition agreement” or specific pacts, after losing the absolute majority


  • The French president speaks in public for the first time after his party’s stumble in the legislative elections

  • He rules out the constitution of a “national union” government as had been speculated in recent days

“We must build new consensus.” The French president, Emmanuel Macron, recognized with these words the need to govern differently after his coalition was left without an absolute majority. This Tuesday afternoon, the centrist leader commented in public for the first time on Sunday’s bump in the legislative elections. Since 1988 there has not been a National Assembly without a clear parliamentary majority. A new scenario that could lead to a political gridlock in France, unaccustomed to parliamentary negotiations.

“No political force can pass laws alone. Our responsibility is to expand it, either forming a coalition or negotiating text by text. But this does not mean that there will be immobility, although these agreements will require time, “said Macron in a television speech broadcast at eight in the afternoon from the Elysee. “We must learn to govern and legislate differently”, he added. Despite the risk of political paralysis, 71% of French people are satisfied that the president has been left without an absolute majority, according to a poll for BFMTV. Macron was often criticized for exercising power that was too “arrogant” and “vertical”, in which Parliament was of no importance.

The president, who in recent days met with the leaders of the different opposition formations, ruled out the possible composition of a government of “national union”. The French press had speculated in recent days with this option, although it seemed unlikely considering that the two main opposition forces – the new unitary alliance of the left and the extreme right – presented themselves as practically antagonistic projects to theirs.

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“The country needs reforms”

Despite remaining as the first force, the macronista coalition Together obtained 246 deputies and was far from the minimum of 289 to have an absolute majority. In the case of the Republic on the Move (Macron’s party), it saw its number of seats halve. The setback was relevant as it was an election designed so that the winner of the presidential elections, held just two months earlier, would win comfortably. But this time they became a punishment vote.

“The country needs more than ever ambitious reforms”, Macron said, after speculation in recent days that he should give up some of his most controversial measures, such as extending the retirement age from 62 to 65 years (with 43 listed). According to the same Elabe study for BFM TV, the majority of Macron supporters want a deal with the Republicans (LR, related to the PP), who were the fourth force with 64 deputies. However, the current leaders of the formation founded by former President Nicolas Sarkozy are opposed to this pact.

Announcements will wait

“The part of responsibility and cooperation of the different parties in the National Assembly should be clarified in the coming days,” added Macron. With a busy international schedule — the European Council, the G7 and the NATO summit — is not due to take action until the middle or end of next week, at the earliest.

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In fact, he did not refer to the future of Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne. After the electoral bump, this leader with a technocratic profile received numerous criticisms from her own ranks. “The moment demands a prime minister or a prime minister who is a politician, not a technician,” François Bayrou, the veteran centrist leader and mayor of Pau, told the public radio station on Wednesday. France Inter.


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