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French left says it can govern, but center says it is necessary

French political leaders from the left-wing bloc that came first in Sunday’s legislative elections (7) said they intend to govern according to their high-spending program, but centrists say they should play a role since the left does not have a majority.

The unexpected snap election result has plunged France into uncertainty just ahead of the Paris Olympics, with no obvious path to a stable government capable of passing any legislation in a fragmented parliament.

The left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) won the most seats in the National Assembly but fell short of an absolute majority by about 100 seats. President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party came second and the far-right National Rally came third.

NFP leaders have met behind closed doors several times since the result was released on Sunday night (7), trying to reach an agreement on which of them should be prime minister and how they should approach governing without a majority.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the far-left France Insoumise party, said an NFP government should fully implement its program, which includes raising the minimum wage, lowering the retirement age and capping prices for fuel, energy and some basic foods.

The political program “cannot be cut into pieces,” he said on TF1 television on Monday night (8), rejecting the idea of ​​a coalition with parties outside the NFP.

“This country is suffering from the lies of its leaders, who promise certain things and deliver on others,” Mélenchon said, arguing that this was one reason why the NFP should remain true to its stated principles.

However, centrists pointed out that the NFP was too far from having a majority to govern without the support of its own parliamentary bloc. They suggested that the NFP should split so that its more moderate elements could form a broader coalition of centre-left, green, centrist and centre-right parties.

“The centrist bloc is prepared to negotiate with all parties that share our republican values,” Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné, leader of Macron’s Renaissance party, said on LCI television.

“Our preconditions need to be defined, but our red lines are well known,” he said, listing support for the European Union and Ukraine, combating racism and anti-Semitism, accelerating the transition to a green economy and maintaining efforts to increase France’s attractiveness as an investment destination.

“This necessarily excludes Jean-Luc Mélenchon and France Insoumise from the government equation,” he said.

Source: CNN Brasil

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