The far right savors power

The far right savors power
The far right savors power

Paris.— Four weeks after the president’s incomprehensible decision Emmanuel Macron to dissolve the National Assembly and summon Parliamentary electionFor the first time, the far right has the chance to have direct access to power in France.

The National Rassemblement (RN), led by Marine Le Pen and her disciple Jordan Bardella, will find out today (this Sunday) in the second round of the legislative elections whether or not it will cohabit with Macron between now and the end of his mandate in 2027.

Various political maneuvers carried out over the past week by Macron’s Renaissance party and the left-wing alliance New Popular Front (NFP), to stop the advance of the ultras towards an absolute majority, seems to have success, although as Gaspard Estrada, political scientist and executive director of the Political Observatory of Latin America and the Caribbean (OPALC) of Sciences Po, in Paris, in an election nothing is decided.

Read also: French vote in first round of early parliamentary elections; turnout estimated at 69.7%

The French Congress is composed of 577 seats. In the first round held on June 30, 76 legislatures were defined after a candidate achieved a majority in his or her seat, including Le Pen, who triumphed in the department of France Northcon 58% of the votes. In total, for the second round, RN starts with 39 elected parliamentarians and the NFP with 31.

The rest of the seats will have names and surnames this Sunday. As a measure to prevent the vote from being counted in a way that allows the extreme right to win, for this contest 224 candidates They have withdrawn their names from the ballot, so the French will have to decide between two or three options, the latter case usually occurring if there is a candidate from the once hegemonic Republican Party.

“Considering that a majority of RN represents a serious risk for the future of the country, they followed the recommendations of their leaders or important figures. More than 120 candidates who resigned are from the left and 80 from the government right. In the centre-right (Ensemble, Horizons, Modem) some still believe that if the favoured candidate is from the left, France Insoumise (LFI) cannot withdraw, but yes when it is a socialist, ecologist or communist,” Jean Jacques Kourliandsky, associate researcher at the LFI, tells EL UNIVERSAL. French Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS). “The latest polls indicate that these resignations will most likely prevent RN from having a majority in the National Assembly.”

Read also: Far-right favourite to win French election; seeks absolute majority

The analyst, however, points out that everything will depend on the effect that these strategic decisions have on voters. He points out that abstention could temper the effect of resignations.

What is clear, says Kourliandsky, is that regardless of last-minute adjustments, RN will be the largest bloc in parliament. A poll conducted by Ifop for the daily Le Figaro predicts that RN and its allies will win between 170 and 210 seats, while the NFP will win 155 to 185; Macron’s party 120 to 150; and Les Républiques 50 to 65.

If this is confirmed, the key to power for the radicals will be in the hands of the Republican conservatives, whose alliance could prove fundamental for the relative majority, between 250 y 286or absolute, set at 287. The second scenario would automatically make Jordan Bardella prime minister and allow him to form a government. Another hypothesis is an anti-RN centre-left coalition, although this is unlikely.

Read also: Macron puts his legacy at stake

If none of these circumstances occur, the result will be an ungovernable Assembly and a technical government waiting to meet the one-year deadline to dissolve Congress again and call new elections.

“The collapse of the presidential party will be very important. The next stage will be one of recomposition, both of the presidential bloc, which is showing signs of fragmentation, and of the left.”

The scholar says that it is unsustainable for LFI, an anti-capitalist party, to maintain its hegemony over the block formed by the left (NFP), so it is very likely that a dissident faction will emerge to challenge it. Jean-Luc Mélenchonan inspiring figure of the movement, which will lead to further fragmentation.

Kourliandsky argues that if Macron’s party, the left and the moderate right o republican If they want to prevent the electoral dynamic from continuing to favour Marine Le Pen, they must reflect on the causes that led to such a strong popular protest vote concentrated in RN.

Read also: Labour wins British election with absolute majority

Total confusion

On the evening of June 9, after being defeated by the radical right in the European elections, the French president surprised everyone by dissolving the National Assembly and announcing early general elections.

Experts are still trying to figure out the motive behind the move, given that the nation is fractured and has been on Le Pen’s side since the 2022 presidential election.

For Kourliandsky, it was a dangerous political poker move, trying to take the opposition forces by surprise, seeking to appear as the only one capable of mobilizing the electorate. In the end he failed and it seems the result will be chaos, institutional blockage, a country in decline.

“President Macron is in a very difficult situation. More so than before the dissolution. He explained that he wanted to clarify the political game. To this end, he demonized the left and tried to erase it from the campaign by reducing it to a confrontation between him, his party [Ensemble] and RN, with a contradictory story, using arguments that were, until then, RN’s.”

Read also: Who is Jordan Bardella, the new face of the far right in France?

“He lost his bet. Anti-right voters chose the left to confront him. And those who listened to his far-right arguments chose to vote directly for the most authentic defenders of these arguments. As a result, the president’s party will probably go from first to third minority.”

He argues that in France the president has power if he has a parliamentary majority. In the past, to compensate for this lack, cohabitation with a prime minister from another party has occurred, as happened with Francois Mitterrand in 1986 and Jacques Chirac in 1997.

“The novelty of the situation that can emerge from the vote of the July 7th It is likely that we will have a Parliament without a majority, fragmented into three blocks with antagonistic identities. [RN, NFP y Ensemble]. The only thing that is certain is that from Sunday onwards the president will be just another spectator of political life, and the bet, which he lost, will open a period of serious uncertainty in the country,” says Kourliandsky.

Remember that the French voted for Macron in 2017 for lack of any other promising option and because he defined himself, at that time, as a centrist figure with no experience in government.

To this day, the French remain dissatisfied and, as they did seven years ago, have the impression that they are voting for a political force with no experience in government.

The analyst says there is a great risk that everything will remain the same, because the country’s problems are the result of globalization and a Europeanization based on the almost absolute supremacy of the market economy.

Read also: More than 200 candidates in France resign in an attempt to stop the far right in the second round

He points out that presenting electoral alternatives is impossible because the government is not able to act, it could not devalue the currency, touch tariffs, it is obliged to open the space of public services to foreign competition and it has to respect economic criteria set by the European Union.

“Little by little, in order to participate in global competition, the welfare state, considered an obstacle, is being dismantled. It is not done in such a brutal way as in Argentina in the past. Javier Mileybut the trend is identical. In the absence of political sincerity in each election, the parties in power fail and lose sooner or later.”

And it is in the supposed search for something new that the ghosts appear. In the French case, they can plunge the country into a cycle of anti-republican adventures.

Despite the normalisation of the RN by some French media, its ideological basis remains contrary to the civic and institutional foundations of French democracy, by discriminating, stigmatising and excluding entire categories of the population.


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