Paris. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, could not enjoy a respite on Monday, because hours after winning re-election by defeating the far-right Marine Le Pen, his opponents were asking voters to deny him a parliamentary majority.

If he fails to win another victory in parliamentary elections on June 12-19, the centrist, pro-European president will find it difficult to advance his pro-business agenda, including unpopular plans to raise the retirement age.

“The voting is not over, the legislative elections are the third round,” Le Pen ally Jordan Bardella said, telling voters: “Don’t put all the power in Macron’s hands.”

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, of the hard left who came third – behind only Le Pen – in the first round, said Macron had been chosen “by default”.

“Don’t give up,” he told his supporters. “They can beat Macron (in the parliamentary elections) and choose a different path.”

Abstention, uncomfortable

According to the polls, Macron obtained his best results in the second round among those over 60 and, above all, among those over 70. The centrist especially seduces executives, retirees and voters with at least three years of higher education.

28% of the nearly 49 million French called to the polls abstained. 41% of voters between 18 and 24 years old abstained, as well as 38% of those between 25-34 years old, according to an Ipsos poll. Another three million voters voted blank or null for their part. If the abstentionists are added, “more than a third of the electorate decided not to elect”, summarized Mathieu Gallard, of Ipsos.

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