06-9-2024, 5:28 PM

Macron dissolves the French parliament and calls a snap election following the EU vote setback

Emanuel Macron - Video Screenshot

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Sunday the dissolution of the National Assembly and called for new legislative elections, following a significant loss to the far-right National Rally party in the EU election.

Preliminary estimates showed that the far-right National Rally (RN) party won 31.5% of the vote, more than double the share of Renaissance, which barely managed to secure second place with 15.2% of the vote, ahead of the Socialists in third place with 14.3%.

In an address to the nation from the Elysee presidential palace, Macron said: "I've decided to give you back the choice of our parliamentary future through the vote. I am therefore dissolving the National Assembly." The vote will take place in two rounds on June 30 and July 7, he said.

This decision is made in light of the fact that French opinion polling organizations predict that Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally party would defeat Macron's pro-European centrists in the European Union parliamentary election, according to the first estimated results from France on Sunday. It carries a huge political risk as well because his party would lose more elections and he would not be able to serve out the remainder of his 2027 presidential term.

The leader of the RN, Jordan Bardella, called on Macron to dissolve the French parliament in a jubilant speech following the release of the exit poll, referring to the president's split between the two parties as a "stinging disavowal."

Macron admitted to feeling defeated. He declared, "I've heard your message, your concerns, and I won't leave them unanswered," and that holding a quick election will only strengthen his democratic credentials.

The last dissolution of parliament by a French president occurred in 1997, the year when Jacques Chirac lost his majority and Lionel Jospin's Socialists came to power.

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