Complicating His Second Term
Within a couple of months of his re-election as the French President, Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron is facing a political crisis, as his La République En Marche Party (LREM, translated as The Republic on the Move) lost the majority in the National Assembly after the second round of Parliamentary Elections, held on June 19, 2022. The newly-formed Left Alliance has surprised the French people, as well as the Global Community, by beating the LREM in the National Assembly Elections. According to the political analysts, it is a huge blow to President Macron.
Analysts believe that the electoral defeat of the ruling coalition in the National Assembly Elections could lead France to political instability. Ahead of the polls, everyone expected that the ruling coalition would hold a majority in the National Assembly. However, the LREM-led alliance managed to bag only 245 seats, while 289 were required for a majority. In such a situation, President Macron’s LREM would have to form a coalition with the winning parties or to find a new ally. It may be noted that Macron, after becoming President for the second time, announced that he would raise the age of retirement, and introduce tax breaks. However, his proposed moves have failed to convince the voters.
Meanwhile, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has described the outcome of the Parliamentary Polls as Democratic Shock, saying: “This culture of compromise is one we will have to adopt, but we must do so around clear values, ideas and political projects for France.” For her part, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne stressed: “The result is a risk for our country in view of the challenges we have to face. We will be working from tomorrow towards forming a majority of action… to guarantee stability for our country and carry out the necessary reforms.” Roland Lescure, the spokesperson of LREM, told the press: “We can’t say that President Macron has been rebutted, but there’s a bit of a warning there for sure. And it is going to be a hard one to pull.” He added: “We’re going to have to learn how to make the Parliament work probably a bit better, we’re going to have to negotiate on a case-by-case basis on the reform agenda. Whether it’s pension, whether it’s growth, whether it’s income, whether it´s the environment, (we’re) going to have to find people who can support us.” It is the first time in 20 years when a newly-elected French President has lost a majority in the National Assembly Elections.
After the Presidential Elections earlier in 2022, presidential candidate Jean-Luc Antoine Pierre Mélenchon of the La France Insoumise Party had appealed to his countrymen to make him the Prime Minister, and also called for a political coexistence. It happened three times in the history of the Fifth French Republic. It happened for the first time during the first term of President François Marie Adrien Maurice Mitterrand. President Mitterrand had to coexist with the Right-wing Government of Jacques René Chirac in 1986-88. Later in 1993-95, President Mitterrand coexisted with the Government of Prime Minister Édouard Balladur. The third coexistence happened during the Presidency of Chirac, who had to coexist with the Leftist Government led by Prime Minister Lionel Robert Jospin (in 1997-2002).
It seems that the Fifth French Republic is all set to experience the fourth political coexistence in 2022.
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