Macron meets rival parties after losing parliamentary majority

Macron meets rival parties after losing parliamentary majority

Macron meets rival parties after losing parliamentary majority

French President Emmanuel Macron is holding talks with opposition parties after failing to secure a parliamentary majority this weekend.

In a major blow to the newly re-elected president, his centrist Ensemble group fell 43 seats short of the 289 needed to rule without outside support.

With 105 seats less than his movement won in the 2017 National Assembly elections, Macron must now either try to form a coalition government or lead a minority government, making it difficult to pass new bills.

Macron will hold talks at the Elysee presidential palace on Tuesday and Wednesday with Oliver Faure, the leader of the Socialist Party, Christian Jacob, the president of Les Republicains, and Marine Le Pen, the head of the far-right National Rally.

This comes after the French president turned down his Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne’s offer to resign after the election setback.

Analysts believe Macron could gain the support of Les Republicains, who won 61 seats in last week’s election. Conservatives support some of the president’s policies, including raising the retirement age.

However, Mr Jacob, the party chairman, has indicated that his politicians want to remain “almost unanimously” in the opposition. But several of his colleagues disagree, arguing that they should act as kingmakers.

Unlike other party leaders, Jean-Luc Melenchon, the leader of Insoumise who recently formed the Nupes alliance of left-wing and green parties, will not attend the talks with the French president.

The coalition won 131 seats, making it the second most powerful group in the 577-member chamber, ahead of Ms Le Pen’s party, which took 89 seats, a dramatic increase from the eight it won in 2017.

“It is a totally unexpected situation, absolutely unheard of, the defeat of the presidential party is total,” Melenchon said on Sunday after Macron’s failure to secure a majority became apparent.

Members of the Nupes group pose in Paris on June 21, 2022

(AP)

Following the vote, the Nupes group has said it will table a no-confidence vote against Macron’s government on July 5.

Macron’s allies have admitted the result of Sunday’s second round is making it difficult for his government. “We need to think about a new way of functioning at the institutional level,” said European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune.

Government spokeswoman Olivia Gregoire repeated this message, telling France Inter radio: “It’s getting complicated.”

“We’re going to have to be creative,” she added.

Ms Gregoire indicated that a reshuffle will take place shortly and that the government will introduce a bill on the cost of living when parliament reopens in eight days.

Macron, who two months ago became the first president to be re-elected in two decades, has not yet commented publicly on the outcome of the parliamentary election.