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Monday, June 12, 2017

France’s Macron heads for crushing parliamentary majority

Paris (AFP) – French President Emmanuel Macron’s party is on course for an overwhelming parliamentary majority after Sunday’s first round of voting for the National Assembly left traditional parties in disarray.
Forecasts based on partial results showed Macron widening his centrist revolution, with his Republique en Marche (Republic on the Move, REM) party and its ally MoDem tipped to win between 400 and 445 seats in the 577-member National Assembly in next Sunday’s second round.
Such a share would give Macron one of the biggest parliamentary majorities for 60 years.
“France is back,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe declared triumphantly.
“For the past month, the president has shown confidence, willingness and daring in France and on the international stage,” Philippe said, calling the result a vindication of Macron’s “winning strategy”.
But the vote was marked by record low turnout of 49 percent, possibly reflecting fatalism among Macron’s opponents in the face of his seemingly unstoppable advance, experts said.
The right-wing Republicans — who had hoped to rebound from their humiliation in the presidential vote — were shown trailing in second with a predicted 70-130 seats while Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front (FN) was forecast to garner between one and 10 seats.
The FN’s result showed the party is struggling to rebound from Le Pen’s bruising defeat by Macron in the presidential run-off.
The FN’s deputy leader Florian Philippot admitted to “disappointment” and called on voters to “mobilise massively” for the second round.
The worst losses, however, were for the Socialists of Macron’s predecessor Francois Hollande, who are predicted to lose a staggering 200 seats. READ MORE