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French President Macron defends decision to call early elections, urges voters to defeat far-right

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron defended his decision to call a snap election after his party’s crushing defeat in the European Parliament vote, insisting that voters on Wednesday will ultimately choose the “progressive bloc” instead than the far right.

A somber-looking Macron said his decision to hold early parliamentary elections, which will take place in two rounds on June 30 and July 7, shows his “confidence” in the French people. He urged moderate politicians on the left and right to band together with his own centrist alliance to defeat the far right.

“I think the French are intelligent, they see what is being done, what is coherent and what is not, and they know what to do,” Macron said. He added: “I don’t believe at all that the worst could happen. You see, I am a tireless optimist.

The 46-year-old president addressed French voters at a news conference for the first time since his stunning decision on Sunday. dissolve the National Assemblythe lower house of the French Parliament, after the victory of Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally in the vote for the European Parliament.

Macron sought to address the concerns of those who fear the risky move could bring the French far right to lead a government for the first time since World War II.

Since the announcement of the legislative elections on Sunday evening, crowds have been gathering every day in Paris and across the country to protest against the National Rally.

Macron was adamant in his confidence in voters’ refusal to choose the extremes on either side of the political spectrum. He assured that he was not falling into defeatism and declared that he would serve his second presidential term whatever the result of the legislative vote.

Macron said his decision “aimed to allow the political forces chosen by the French to be able to govern.” He added that it is “embarrassing to think that it has to be the far right or the political extremes. Or maybe the spirit of defeat is spreading everywhere.

“If this is what people are afraid of, it’s time to act now,” he said.

Macron justified his decision by saying he could not ignore the new political reality after his pro-European party suffered a crushing defeat and garnered less than half of the National Rally’s support with his party. star lead, Jordan Bardella.

Unlike his recent national speeches in which Macron focused on Russia’s war in Ukraine and how Europe should forge a common defense policy, independent of the United States and strengthen trade protections against China, the French president stuck to his country’s internal problems favored by the rising right, notably by curbing immigration, fighting against crime and Islamic separatism in France.

Macron, three years into his second presidential term, hopes voters will unite to contain the far-right in national elections. they didn’t do it in European countries. He called on “men and women of good will who knew how to say ‘no’ to the extremes of left and right to unite to be able to build a common project” for the country.

“Things are simple today: we have unholy alliances at both extremes, which completely agree only on job sharing and which will not be able to implement any program,” Macron said.

Even though he seemed to project the kind of enthusiasm that helped him rise to the presidency in 2017, analysts say French voters are more pessimistic about their future and view Macron as increasingly out of touch with life real and wallet problems.

The French president acknowledged certain mistakes made by his pro-business centrist party while harshly criticizing certain conservatives who decided to ally themselves with Le Pen’s National Rally, with its racist and xenophobic past. He scathingly described an alliance formed by left-wing parties as “unusual and incoherent” after including Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s far-left France Unbowed party which Macron said “justified anti-Semitic policies” in the wake of the Israel-Hamas conflict. war.

“We are not perfect, we have not done everything correctly, but we have results… and above all, we know how to act,” Macron said of his Renaissance party, adding that “the far right (is) the main danger” in the next elections.

“The question is who will govern the country tomorrow? He asked. “The extreme right and a few associates, or the democratic and progressive bloc? This is the fundamental question.

Potential alliances and the two-round voting system in force in France during national elections make the outcome of the vote very uncertain.

Opposition parties of the left and right worked to form alliances and present candidates in the early legislative vote.

Although strong differences remain between parties on both sides of the political spectrum, the prominent figures calling for a united front appear to have one thing in common: they do not want to cooperate with Macron.

Despite their divisions, the left-wing parties agreed Monday evening to form an alliance including the Greens, the Socialists, the Communists and the far-left La France Insoumise.

Le Pen is working to consolidate the power of the right by striving to translate the European triumph into national victory and move closer to claiming power. His party is expected to win the largest number of French seats in the European Parliament, potentially up to 30 of France’s 81.

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Surk reported from Nice, France.

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News Source : apnews.com

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