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French President Macron Dissolves Parliament, Calls for Snap Elections

The first round of elections for the Assemblée will take place on June 30, with the second round on July 7, Macron announced in an address to the nation. The outcome of the EU elections, he acknowledged, is “not a good result for parties who defend Europe.”

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French President Emanuel Macron said Sunday he was dissolving the National Assembly and calling a snap legislative election after his party suffered a heavy defeat in elections for the European Parliament.

In an address to the nation from the Elysee presidential palace, Macron said: “I’ve decided to give you back the choice of our parliamentary future through the vote. I am therefore dissolving the National Assembly.” The vote will take place in two rounds on June 30 and July 7, he said.

The move comes as first projected results from France on Sunday put the far-right National Rally party well ahead in the European Union’s parliamentary election, defeating Macron’s pro-European centrists, according to French opinion poll institutes.

The first round of elections for the Assemblée will take place on June 30, with the second round on July 7, Macron announced in an address to the nation. The outcome of the EU elections, he acknowledged, is “not a good result for parties who defend Europe.”

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The far-right Rassemblement National party obtained by far the most votes (31.5%) in France as voters throughout the European Union elected their members of the European Parliament, according to initial estimates by Ipsos for France Télévisions, Radio France, France 24/RFI, Public Sénat/LCP Assemblée Nationale. Behind the RN, Macron’s Renaissance coalition held on to second place, with 15.2%, ahead of the Socialists and their lead candidate Raphaël Glucksmann (14%).

The ruling coalition’s score was “not a good result for the parties who defend Europe,” Macron said. “Far-right parties, which in recent years have opposed so many of the advances made possible by our Europe, (…) are gaining ground across the continent.”

“I could not, at the end of this day, act as if nothing was happening,” he said.

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Two other parties appeared certain of crossing the 5% threshold required to send candidates to the European Parliament: the radical left La France Insoumise and the conservative Les Républicains. The initial estimates also put the far-right party Reconquête! at 5.5%, and the Greens at 5.2% – those tallies could potentially change as more results are counted during the evening.

Marine Le Pen’s RN has now been the top-ranking party in three consecutive European elections. This year, however, it substantially improved its tally from 2019, when the same lead candidate, Jordan Bardella, had obtained 23.34 %.

In his speech after the first estimates were published, the 28-year-old Bardella had “solemnly asked” Macron to dissolve the Assemblée Nationale and call early elections. “A wind of hope has risen in France, it is just beginning,” said Bardella. “This clear message has been sent to Emmanuel Macron and the European leaders.”

The score of President Macron’s coalition came as a disappointment, but not a surprise, after a sluggish campaign for his lead candidate Valérie Hayer, an unfamiliar face to many voters.

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Polls closed at 6 pm in most of France, but voters in big cities could still cast their ballots until 8 pm, when the initial estimations were published.

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Throughout the EU’s 27 member states, citizens voted over four days to elect the 720 members of the European Parliament for the next five-year term. Results began trickling in on Sunday as the last countries voted.


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