Tuesday, June 28, 2022

France’s Macron invites political parties to discuss hung parliament-source

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PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron will invite all political parties able to form a group in the new parliament for talks on Tuesday and Wednesday after his camp lost its absolute majority, a source close to Macron said on Monday.

Macron’s centrist coalition is under pressure to secure support from rivals to salvage Macron’s reform agenda after weekend elections delivered a hung parliament. If it fails, France could face a long spell of political paralysis.

A COALITION DEAL

This was the rule during the Third and Fourth Republics pre-1958, but coalitions were so unstable that governments often lasted only a few months or so.

This instability, which some observers say even led to France’s early defeat to Nazi Germany in 1939 by leaving the country unprepared, is why post-war leader Charles de Gaulle drafted a new constitution for the Fifth Republic with wide-ranging presidential powers and a two-round system that was designed to give the president a strong majority.

Read more: Macron loses absolute majority in parliament, initial projections show

As a result, coalition building has not been a feature of post-war politics in France, leaving the political class with minimal experience or tradition in consensus building, unlike other countries such as the Netherlands or Germany.

Macron may still try to reach out to the conservative Les Republicains party, the only mainstream party with the numbers to push him over the 289 threshold for an absolute majority.

Last week, Macron quietly reached out to the head of the Senate, LR veteran Gerard Larcher, a government source told Reuters, suggesting he was paving the way for such a scenario.

Senior LR officials, however, were on Sunday swift to pour cold water on a formal coalition.

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