France’s Parliamentary Elections: Left-Wing Coalition In Surprise Win

The left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) alliance has emerged as the winner in France’s parliamentary elections, pushing the far-right National Rally party into third place.

According to official results, the NFP secured the most seats, but fell short of an overall majority. President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance came in second, while the National Rally party trailed behind.

The outcome may affect Macron’s ambitions, as his centrist allies won’t be able to implement their pro-business policies. The president has said he will wait to decide his next steps and is heading to Washington this week for a NATO summit.

The new legislators can start work in Parliament on Monday, with their first session scheduled for July 18. However, with no clear majority, France faces a challenging political landscape, requiring lawmakers to build consensus across parties to agree on government positions and legislation.

The National Assembly, where the NFP will hold the most seats, is the most powerful chamber in France’s parliament. Negotiations and coalition-building are expected to ensue as the parties work towards forming a stable government.

Macron may seek a deal with the moderate left to create a joint government, but negotiations are expected to be difficult. If unsuccessful, he could name a government of experts unaffiliated with political parties, which would require parliamentary approval.

The outcome has left financial markets worried, and Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has announced his resignation, effective Monday. Macron’s office says he will “wait for the new National Assembly to organize itself” before making any decisions on the new government.

With no majority and no possibility to implement his own plans, Macron emerges weakened from the elections. However, he still holds significant powers over foreign policy, European affairs, and defense, and is in charge of negotiating and ratifying international treaties.

The situation is unprecedented in modern France, where no dominant party has emerged. The country’s fractious politics and deep divisions over taxes, immigration, and Mideast policy make building consensus challenging.

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