MACRON’S STUNNING LOSS TO PRO-PUTIN LE PEN – A SIGN ORDINARY PEOPLE ARE BECOMING SICK & TIRED OF BEARING THE COSTS OF BEING MANIPULATED BY U.S. & EU – ‘I WILL BRING BACK FRANCE’S SOVEREIGNTY IN ALL AREAS, WHICH MEANS FREEDOM FOR THE FRENCH PEOPLE TO DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES & DEFEND THEIR INTERESTS’ – FROM AUSTRALIA, WHERE BIDEN ‘ECHO’ SCOTT MORRISON WAS KICKED OUT AFTER ALARMING VOTERS WITH HIS OVER-STRIDENT ANTI-CHINA RHETORIC – AND EVEN IN U.K., WHERE BORIS JOHNSON ALMOST LOST A CONFIDENCE VOTE DESPITE MULTIPLE TRIPS TO SAUDI, INDIA & UKRAINE TO FIRE UP ANTI-RUSSIA SENTIMENT TO SHORE UP HIS OWN IMAGE AT HOME

Macron loses parliament majority in stunning setback

FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron lost his parliamentary majority today after major election gains by a newly formed left-wing alliance and the far right, in a stunning blow to his plans for major second-term reform.

The result from yesterday’s second round poll threw French politics into turmoil, raising the prospect of a paralysed legislature or messy coalitions with Macron forced to reach out to new allies.

Macron, 44, now also risks being distracted by domestic problems as he seeks to play a prominent role in putting an end to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and as a key statesman in the EU.

Macron’s Together coalition will still be the biggest party in the next National Assembly, but with 245 seats, according to full interior ministry results announced in the early hours of today, it is well short of the 289 seats needed for a majority in the 577-member chamber.

The outcome severely tarnished Macron’s April presidential election victory when he defeated the far-right to be the first French president to win a second term in more than two decades.

“It’s a turning point for his image of invincibility,” Centre for Political Research of Sciences Po researcher Bruno Cautres said.

Le Monde daily headlined on its website: “Macron faces the risk of political paralysis,” while the Le Figaro daily said the results raised the spectre of a “stillborn new mandate”.

‘Failure for Macron’

The new left-wing coalition Nupes under 70-year-old hard-left figurehead Jean-Luc Melenchon won 135 seats, according to an AFP count based on the results published by the ministry.

The coalition, formed in May after the left splintered for April’s presidential elections, brings together Socialists, the hard left, Communists and greens.

Melenchon called yesterday’s results “above all an electoral failure” for Macron.

“The rout of the presidential party is total and there will be no majority” in parliament, he told cheering supporters in Paris.

A prominent MP from Melenchon’s party, Alexis Corbiere, said the result meant Macron’s plan to raise the French retirement age to 65 had been “sunk”.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party made huge gains and will send 89 MPs to the new parliament, making it the biggest right-wing force in parliament ahead of the traditional right The Republicans (LR).

Le Pen hailed a historic result for her party, saying it would send “by far” its highest number of MPs to the next National Assembly.

Macron had hoped to stamp his second term with an ambitious programme of tax cuts, welfare reform and raising the retirement age. All that is now in question.

“This will complicate the reforms… It will be much more difficult to govern,” professor of law at Paris Pantheon-Sorbonne University Dominique Rousseau said.

‘Imagination needed’

“The slap,” the headline in the left-leaning Liberation’s morning edition said, adding the results represented the “fall” of Macron’s way of governing.

There could now potentially be weeks of political deadlock as the president seeks to reach out to new parties.

The most likely option would be an alliance with the Republicans, the traditional party of the French right, which has 61 MPs.

However, LR president Christian Jacob made clear there would be no easy partnership, saying his party intended to “stay in opposition”.

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire denied that France would be ungovernable but admitted “a lot of imagination would be needed” from the ruling party in an “unprecedented situation”.

Macron had called on voters to hand his coalition a “solid majority” last week, adding “nothing would be worse than adding French disorder to the world disorder”.

Three ministers felled

In another blow, key ministers standing for election were set to lose their jobs under a convention that they should resign if they fail to win seats.

Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon, Maritime Minister Justine Benin and Environment Minister Amelie de Montchalin – a pillar of Macron’s administration over the last years – all lost and will now exit the government.

Two other close Macron allies, parliament speaker Richard Ferrand and former interior minister Christophe Castaner, both acknowledged defeat in the fight for their seats.

In a rare spot of good news for the president, Europe Minister Clement Beaune and Public Service Minister Stanislas Guerini – both young pillars of his party – won tight battles for their seats.

On the left, Rachel Keke, a former cleaning lady who campaigned for better working conditions at her hotel, was also elected, defeating Macron’s former sports minister Roxana Maracineanu.

Turnout was low, with the abstention rate recorded at 53.8%, according to the interior ministry, higher than the first round but not beating the record worst turnout of 2017. – AFP – TMI

French election: What exactly is Marine Le Pen’s stance on Russia and Vladimir Putin?

20/04/2022

The remarks were also rather unfortunate, given that barely a fortnight later Vladimir Putin sent thousands of troops, amassed on Ukraine’s border, into the country.

Russian bombardments have since flattened towns and cities, and there have been multiple reports of Russian soldiers murdering, torturing and raping civilians.

However, the candidate from the far-right has openly expressed her admiration for the Russian leader in the past and has consistently defended Moscow’s foreign policy.

2017: ‘I support Putin’s policies’

In an unprecedented move, in March 2017 the Russian president met with a candidate for the French presidency in Moscow in the run-up to the race for the Elysée that spring.

The meeting between Vladimir Putin and Marine Le Pen at the Kremlin reignited fears of Russian support for far-right groups in Europe.

In an interview with the BBC, Le Pen tied her political colours firmly to the mast, citing as her inspirations the newly elected US president as well as the Russian leader.

“The big political lines that I stand up for are the big lines which Mr Trump stands up for, which Mr Putin stands up for,” she said.

Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 24, 2017.Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File

Le Pen also blamed tensions with the West firmly on the US and NATO, which she accused of arming countries on Russia’s border.

“Ukraine is part of Russia’s sphere of influence, it’s a fact,” she said. “If you’re trying to say that Russia poses a military danger to European countries, I think you’re mistaken in your analysis.”

France should leave NATO’s allied command, she argued. “NATO was created precisely to fight the USSR. Today there is no USSR.”

Russia, Le Pen went on, didn’t “deserve to be treated with prejudice”, as it “hasn’t led any campaigns against European countries, or against the US”.

US intelligence and an official investigation concluded that Russia interfered with the 2016 US presidential election with the aim of boosting Trump’s candidacy. For several years Moscow has also been accused of interference and spreading disinformation in European elections.

“Russia is going broadly in the right direction,” Le Pen replied in the 2017 interview when asked whether Putin had done more harm than good, citing his intervention in Syria which was “positive for the security of the world”.

“What I notice is that Vladimir Putin’s government must at least please the Russians enough to be re-elected regularly in the country’s elections,” she said.

Elections in Russia since Putin came to power have regularly been criticised by human rights groups and international organisations as being neither free nor fair, while prominent opponents of the president have been barred from standing.