in ,

French Parliamentary polls see unusually high voting as far-right eyes power

Snap polls to the 577-member French National Assembly on Sunday witnessed a heavy turnout, surpassing the voting percentage of previous elections over the past four decades, as the far-right eyed a stab at power.

At 5 p.m. local time (3 p.m. GMT) – three hours before the official close of polls, nearly 60 per cent (59.39 per cent) of the electorate had exercised their franchise, as per figures from the Ministry of the Interior. In 2022, the turnout at the same time was just 39.4 per cent, the BBC reported.

Projections are expected soon after the close of the election whose results will not only impact the political fate of President Emmanuel Macron, whose centrist Ensemble alliance, was running third behind the far-right National Rally (RN) of Marine Le-Pen, with the 28-year-old Jordan Bardella its PM face, and the New Popular Front alliance of various Left parties, but also the course of the country and the European Union.

While 289 seats are required to win a majority, the French political system is slightly complex and can stretch to a second round, in which candidates whose support did not reach 12.5 per cent of all locally registered voters are eliminated. Only those who secure 50 per cent of the vote with a turnout of at least one-fourth of the local electorate win automatically in the first round.

The run-off will be taking place in a week’s time – on next Sunday (July 7).

The elections – which were not due till 2027 – were called in a surprise announcement by Macron on June 9 – after the National Rally party decisively defeated his alliance in the European Parliament elections.

While the decision was seen as a gamble, Macron had no option as he failed to win a majority for his party in the previous (2022) elections, held soon after his own re-election, and was hamstrung in passing new laws or reforms.

The prospect of either the far-right or the left gaining power is seen as leading to a “civil war” – as Macron himself warned recently, a poll published on Friday indicated that 40 per cent each of respondents fear this eventuality in case of either party from the extremes of the political spectrum gain power, the BBC reported.

However, Macron has announced that even if his party loses, he will not quit as President before 2027 when his term ends. Dealing with political opponents controlling the legislature will be tough, as the parliament cannot be dismissed for another election for at least a year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

From Colonial to Contemporary: India’s legal system set to enter a new era on Monday

New Crimes Added to Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita: Understanding the Amendments and Grey Areas