Macron admits he suffered an electoral disaster and says “French divisions are very visible” after the election

Emmanuel Macron admits he suffered an electoral disaster for the first time and says that ‘French fractures are very visible after the humiliation in the polls’

  • Macron admitted that the country was divided after the humiliation of Sunday’s election
  • He seemed to rule out an all-party national unity government
  • Together, the coalition has 44 seats under the necessary number of 289 for the majority
  • National Rally Winners Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon of Nupes

French President Emmanuel Macron has broken his silence on the parliamentary crisis plaguing his administration, saying: ‘I cannot ignore the stalemate and political divisions in our country’.

The head of state addressed his nation live on Wednesday evening – three days after losing his majority in the National Assembly – and appeared to rule out an all-party national unity government.

Expressing frustration with the outcome of Sunday’s parliamentary election – when his coalition together took 44 seats below the necessary number of 289 for a majority – Macron said: ‘Unfortunately not everyone came out to vote, and now I cannot ignore the political deadlock. divisions in our country.

“The fractures are very clear – in our inner city areas and in rural areas. We have 577 seats in our parliament and now we must choose how we are going to be a majority.

We must learn to legislate differently – that’s what I asked. We don’t have to remain in a stalemate.

French President Emmanuel Macron at a summit of European Union leaders in Brussels today. Macron expressed his frustration with the result of Sunday’s parliamentary election, saying on Wednesday: “Unfortunately not everyone came out to vote, and now I cannot ignore the political deadlock and divisions in our country.”

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen celebrates her party's victory of newly elected members of Parliament in the National Assembly on Wednesday

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen celebrates her party’s victory of newly elected members of Parliament in the National Assembly on Wednesday

The leader of the leftist coalition Nupes (Nouvelle Union Populaire Ecologique et Sociale - New Ecological and Social People Union) Jean-Luc Melenchon arrives at the National Assembly, two days after the legislative elections

The leader of the leftist coalition Nupes (Nouvelle Union Populaire Ecologique et Sociale – New Ecological and Social People Union) Jean-Luc Melenchon arrives at the National Assembly, two days after the legislative elections

“I see the country asking for change, because it’s my role as the one in charge of the institutions, I’m the one who can look for that compromise in the National Assembly.”

Despite those words, Macron said that neither the far-right National Rally nor the left-wing coalition showed much enthusiasm for a national unity government.

He has spent the past two days talking to party leaders, including NR’s Marine Le Pen, and Nupes’ Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

“We have seen that everyone wants to make sure that everything is not banned,” Macron said.

Jean-Luc Melenchon poses for a family photo with newly elected Members of Parliament in front of the National Assembly in Paris on Tuesday

Jean-Luc Melenchon poses for a family photo with newly elected Members of Parliament in front of the National Assembly in Paris on Tuesday

Marine Le Pen, center, and newly elected members of Parliament from the National Rally party stand in front of the National Assembly on Wednesday

Marine Le Pen, center, and newly elected members of Parliament from the National Rally party stand in front of the National Assembly on Wednesday

Enthusiastic newly elected members of the French Parliament arrive at the National Assembly (Pictured: Far-right National Rally (RN) President and MEP Jordan Bardela)

Enthusiastic newly elected members of the French Parliament arrive at the National Assembly (Pictured: Far-right National Rally (RN) President and MEP Jordan Bardela)

Macron's centrist coalition took a hit in the last election, losing 105 seats from 2017. Center-right Republicans also lost seats, while Le Pen's National Rally took a whopping 81.  In 2017, Melenchon only led his party, winning 17 seats, but this team amassed a left-wing coalition that won 131 seats, making them the largest opposition group.

Macron’s centrist coalition took a hit in the last election, losing 105 seats from 2017. Center-right Republicans also lost seats, while Le Pen’s National Rally took a whopping 81. In 2017, Melenchon only led his party, winning 17 seats, but this team amassed a left-wing coalition that won 131 seats, making them the largest opposition group.

The majority of leaders spoke of the fact that people do not believe that the country is ready to form a national unity government.

Instead, Macron said options include building a coalition, possibly on every piece of proposed legislation on “issue after bill”.

Measures the president hopes to achieve include raising France’s retirement age from 62 to 65, but that is likely to be stymied by the opposition.

“We need a large and clear majority,” he said. I was convinced from the start that we needed more concessions – to transcend differences and division. Clarity is essential.

You want us to be responsible, credible and well funded. We need to make some urgent decisions for the future of the country and make sure that each of you can live the life of each of you without having to worry about more debt and more stress.

If the parliamentary crisis worsens, Macron, who took office in 2017 and is currently serving his second term, may have to call another early parliamentary election.

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