In April, the liberal internationalist Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France for the second time in five years, defeating the far-right leader Marine Le Pen. He looked to stand tall amid the ruins of the old political parties of left and right, as he did in 2017. He was the first leader to be re-elected in two decades.
However, there was a surprise waiting in the wings. The primary rival to Macron’s centrist alliance in the National Assembly elections, which saw the first round of voting on Sunday, was no longer Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National. Instead, it was a hastily constructed coalition of leftwing and green parties led by far-left politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who came in third place in the presidential election.
Questions On The New Plans Of Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron isn’t the only prominent figure taking advantage of the French electorate’s disappointment, as well as the current climate of fury and radicalism in the country’s politics. In just seven weeks, opposition to Macron has shifted from the far right to the far left, highlighting the turbulence of French politics and casting doubt on the country’s democracy’s future shape and direction.
Mélenchon’s New Ecological and Social Popular Union (Nupes) received nearly as many votes as Macron’s Ensemble (Together) alliance and is expected to become the main parliamentary opposition after the second round on June 19, bringing the total number of left-wing MPs in the assembly to three. Macron’s legislative majority could be jeopardized.
Emmanuel Macron is concerned about losing power that he made an unusual intervention on behalf of his supporters before flying to Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine on Tuesday to show solidarity for eastern Europe in the face of Russia’s incursion.
Emmanuel Macron, on the other hand, bears some responsibility for the situation. By successfully dominating politics over the previous five years, the president has helped to destabilize the established order of center-right and center-left parties that ruled France in turn under Charles de Gaulle’s Fifth Republic, which began in 1958.
Furthermore, French society is divided not only between left and right, but also between globalists like Macron on the one hand and nationalists and populists on the other. Although they differ drastically on race, religion, and migration, both Le Pen and Mélenchon have been Putin sympathizers and are Eurosceptic proponents of economic nationalism and protectionism. They received 60% of the vote in the first round of the presidential elections, together with other candidates from the far left and far right.