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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

French elections: Citizens vote, Europe watches with bated breath

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<p class=The elections in France may mark the beginning of a difficult period, both for the country as well as for the European Union

France votes today (7/7) in one of its most important elections in years, with the Far Right hoping for a historic victory but the most likely outcome being a political stalemate.

This it is the first time that the anti-immigration National Rally (RN) party of Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardela has a realistic chance of forming a government and taking total control of the National Assembly.

Elections in France: The common front

But after the RN won the first round of snap parliamentary elections last Sunday, hundreds of candidates from democratic and progressive parties withdrew to give others a better chance of defeating the far-right.

Voting has begun in mainland France. at 9am (Greece time) and the first exit poll will be announced at 9pm (Greece time).

Whatever the result, it seems impossible to see Emmanuel Macron emerge from the unfavorable position it has fallen into.

Four weeks ago, he said he had taken the “responsible” decision to call a snap election in response to the RN's victory in the European elections, minutes after the party's 28-year-old leader, Jordan Bardella, challenged him to do so.

The two-round election has shocked a country preparing for the start of the Paris Olympics on July 26. Security was already tight and 30,000 police have now been deployed for a period of heightened political tension.

There are fears of violence in Paris and other French cities regardless of the outcome of the vote, and a planned protest outside the National Assembly on Sunday afternoon has been banned.

French election: The big danger

Veteran commentator Nicolas Baverez believes that Emmanuel Macron has not just blown up his tenure, but that he has opened the floodgates of power to the Far Right.

“It has jeopardized the holding of the Paris Olympics, which could deal a final blow to France's credibility and image,” he wrote in Le Point on the eve of the vote.

Candidates such as Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardela have already won their seats, taking more than half of the votes. But the outcome of another 500 matches is decided in this replay. These are mainly conducted between two or three candidates.

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<p class=Democratic and progressive forces worked together to block Le Pen and Bardela as much as possible

The conservative Olivier Marleix, a former member of the Council of Ministers, was defeated in the first round by far-right candidate Olivier Dubois. Both advanced to the second round, along with a candidate from the left-wing New People's Front, which is in second place nationally.

But with Nadia Faveris coming third after narrowly losing to her Conservative rival, she withdrew from the race “to stand in the way of the RN”.

One voter, Morgan, doesn't think anything will change in the city, whoever wins.

Elections in France: The 217 “sacrifices”

From the end of the first round until today, throughout the In France there were 217 withdrawals that happened just for this purpose, including 130 Popular Front candidates and 81 from Macron's alliance.

And that has dramatically changed the balance of this pivotal general election.

Predictions after Sunday's first round have given the RN some hope that it can secure an absolute majority of 289 seats, but final polls on Friday showed that number is now out of reach – that the RN can muster a maximum of 205-210 seats.

Parties trying to prevent an RN victory range from the Radical Left, the Communists and the Greens to Macron's centrists and conservatives. All of them claim to be defending the Fifth Republic from the extreme policies of the Far Right.

In recent times, the RN has “falsified” many of its political pronouncements, but still prioritizes French citizens based on ” purity' against immigrants for jobs and housing. It also aims at abolishing the right to automatically obtain citizenship for children of immigrants who are 11-18 years old and have completed 5 years of residence in France. He also wants to exclude from dozens of sensitive jobs all those with dual citizenship.

The European Union, Europe in general, but even the West itself, is watching with bated breath as another political thriller unfolds. within 2024. The ideological map has already changed and everyone is waiting to see what this strange next day will finally look like…

source: in.gr

Source: 24h.com.cy

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