France serves stunning defeat to Marine Le Pen

New Popular Front leader Jean-Luc Melenchon

Image credit X @JLMelenchon

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France springs surprise to throw hung parliament while Left surges

By Manish Anand

New Delhi, July 8: Rejecting claims of all pollsters, France has handed over an unexpected defeat Marine Le Pen. The Left made a stunning recovery to bury all the exit polls’ predictions of a victory of Pen-led National Rally (NR).

French President Emannuel Macron will now have to strike a business deal with the Leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon. France has delivered a hung parliament. The coalition of the Left parties, the New Popular Front (NPF), has bagged the greatest number of seats in parliament which has a total strength of 577.

The halfway mark in the French parliament is 289. The Left-led New Popular Front bagged a total of 181 seats. Macron’s Together coalition consisting of a mix of diverse ideological parties was stranded at 160 seats.

The NR, widely predicted to sweep the French elections, eventually finished third. The Rightists won just 141 seats.

Melenchon-led NPF had promised a wealth tax during the electioneering. Melenchon asserted after the poll result that his alliance should be invited to form the government.

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The NPF had promised to cap prices of essential goods, including food and fuel. The surging fuel prices in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine War is seen unsettling the incumbent government all across Europe. Melenchon had also promised to raise the minimum wages, as well as the salaries of the public sector employees.

The BBC World quoted Jordan Bardella, Pen’s Prime Minister in waiting, saying that the march to power of the National Rally “had been foiled by unnatural alliances of dishonour”. Bardella asserted that NR was stopped from coming to power by the joining of hands of the Left and Macron.

With no winner in the France elections, the spotlight turned on the street over the celebrations of the defeat of the NR. Pen was promising to come with crushing plans against illegal immigrants in France.

“The worst has been avoided,” Arab News quoted Nils Schmid, the foreign policy spokesperson for the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats. It summed up the relief in Germany over the defeat of Pen who had been riding the wave of anger against the rising cost of living in the backdrop of the Ukraine War.

Also Read: Labour victory in UK rings alarm bells in India

Melenchon, the Left alliance leader, is a votary of the recognition of the Palestinian state. “France must recognize the Palestinian state now. The balance of power must show that the whole world condemns this genocide,” Melenchon had been stating all through the French election campaign.

Macron had called the snap poll. The incumbent French President had toyed with the idea that the snap poll would stop Pen from coming to power in Paris.

But Macron’s decision for snap poll sent Melenchon to put together an alliance of political parties to tap into the surging living cost anger in France. Diplomatic observers are commenting that a split verdict will further isolate France from the geostrategic events in the world.

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