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French parties rush to form alliances before election

French parties were rushing this Tuesday (11) to form alliances and prepare for an early election that, according to opinion polls, Marine Le Pen’s far-right party is likely to win.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called an election for the lower house of Parliament for June 30 and July 7, following a major defeat for his party in the European Parliament elections on Sunday.

Le Pen’s National Reunion (RN) party came first in the first survey released on Monday (10), although the survey said that the party will not achieve an absolute majority of votes.

This means that the RN is looking for allies to ensure control of Parliament, and some of the main parties were trying to unite to keep the far right out of power in the eurozone’s second largest economy.

An important target for both camps is the conservative The Republicans (LR, for its French acronym), which has held power for decades but is now a shadow of its former self. The party lost important members to Macron’s centrist party and the far right. Some now fear it could implode.

RN president Jordan Bardella, who had already said that he was trying to win over more LR members and that he could support some of them in the election, made his intentions clear.

“I’m asking the Republicans to stop being Emmanuel Macron’s political crutch,” he said on RTL radio. “If you have convictions, if you love your country, come work with us.”

On the other side, Edouard Philippe, former member of LR and former prime minister of Macron, called on moderate forces, ranging from socialists to conservatives, to unite.

“We have to accept the idea that we need to work with others,” Philippe told RTL. “Let’s build something together that is in the interest of the country.”

But the decades-old consensus in France’s political establishment to join forces to keep the far right out of power appears increasingly fragile.

Eric Ciotti, leader of the Republican party, said on X in response to Philippe’s comments: “Never with us!”

The newspaper Le Figaro wrote that Ciotti is even open to local alliances with the RN in some constituencies – which some in the party immediately said was out of the question.

Meanwhile, left-wing parties have promised to work together and nominate joint candidates in the election, but have not yet reached a formal agreement.

In a joint statement on Monday (10), the socialists, the greens, the communists and members of the France Insubmissa party promised to “present an alternative to Emmanuel Macron and fight against the racist project of the extreme right”.

Although the outcome of the vote is difficult to predict, victory does not appear to be within the left’s reach. However, they may hope to influence who is named prime minister.

Source: CNN Brasil

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