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France’s Macron braces for ‘true election’

PARIS (AFP) – Fresh from winning a second term as French president, Emmanuel Macron soon faces another fight that will determine whether he can pursue his reformist agenda – parliamentary elections in which his rivals are looking to deny him a majority.

All 577 deputy seats in the Lower-House National Assembly are up for grabs in the votes on June 12 and 19, and Macron’s Republic on the Move (LREM) party, with 267 MPs currently, is likely to encounter stiff resistance, analysts said.

“The Parliament elections are going to be the true election, because getting a majority will be essential,” political analyst at the Fondapol institute Dominique Reynie said.

Yet two polls released just after Macron’s victory over far-right challenger Marine Le Pen on Sunday found that two-thirds of French people do not want to hand the president a Parliament majority for the next five years.

Le Pen, who scored her National Rally’s highest election result ever at nearly 42 per cent, immediately called on her millions of supporters “to launch the great battle for the
legislative elections”.

French President Emmanuel Macron holds his fist in the air as he holds Brigitte Macron’s hand after his victory in France’s presidential election in Paris. PHOTO: AFP