Macron fights to save his parliamentary majority and reform agenda

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PARIS (AP) — President Emmanuel Macron could lose his absolute majority in France’s parliament and the ability to push his economic reform agenda with a free hand after a strong performance by a new leftist alliance in the first round of voting. .

Macron’s centrist alliance and the NUPES coalition led by left-wing veteran Jean-Luc Melenchon each won 26% of the vote amid record abstentions on Sunday, though only the June 19 runoff will determine the division of seats. .

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Elabe designed the Macron Ensemble! the alliance would win between 260 and 295 seats in the National Assembly, with the mark for an absolute majority set at 289 seats, with the left gaining between 160 and 210 seats, a big increase from 2017.

“Get out and vote next Sunday to reject Mr Macron’s evil policy,” Melenchon tweeted after Sunday’s vote.

If Macron’s centrist alliance loses its outright majority in the second round, the president will be forced to make messy pacts with center-right or center-left factions that refuse to align with Melenchon bill by bill.

It could also trigger a cabinet reshuffle.

At stake is Macron’s ability to pass reforms, including a contested pension reform that would make the French work longer, a change the former investment banker says is necessary to ensure the long-term order of Public finances.

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His opponents on the left are pushing to lower the retirement age and launch a huge spending campaign as rising inflation drives up the cost of living and erodes wages. Melenchon describes Macron as an economic liberal who protects rich households and not poor ones.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne defended the ruling party’s performance on Sunday.

“Contrary to the words of Mr. Melenchon, who does have a problem with reality, we are the political force that has the most candidates in the second round, there are candidates with a presidential majority in three quarters of the constituencies, and we are going to mobilize this week to win a clear and strong majority,” he told reporters in his Calvados constituency.


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However, in a sign of investor unease at the prospect of Macron losing full control of the lower house, shares of the French bank fell in trading on Monday.

France’s third largest listed bank, Societe Generale, was down 3.6% by 0850 GMT, trailing the CAC40 index, which was down 2.1%. Its two largest peers, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole, lost 2.8% and 3.2%, respectively.

“Nervous wait ahead of round two,” Deutsche Bank wrote in a client briefing note.

No poll shows NUPES winning a ruling majority, a scenario that would plunge the euro zone’s second-largest economy into an unstable period of cohabitation, where the president and prime minister come from different political groups.

Set! obtained 25.75% of the popular vote while the NUPES block obtained 25.66%, according to the final count of the Ministry of the Interior.

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Several Melenchon allies accused Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin of manipulating the count by not including in the bloc’s count some candidates who had publicly said they supported the leftist alliance.

The Interior Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Budget Minister Gabriel Attal said: “(The left) always questions the figures… it’s their specialty.” (Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Elizabeth Pineau, and Richard Lough; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Robert Birsel; Catherine Evans and Alison Williams)



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