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Crisis on the right and debates on the left are pulling France apart as the legislative elections approach

Photo: Olivier Chassignole Agence France-Presse The founder and star politician of La France Insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, on June 6 in Lyon, in the run-up to the European elections

Jérémy Tordjman – Agence France-Presse in Paris

Published yesterday at 9:38 a.m. Updated yesterday at 1:12 p.m.

  • Europe

Fractures on the right, negotiations on the left, extreme right in force: the earthquake caused in France by the dissolution of the Assembly continues to cause tremors on Thursday, 17 days before legislative elections which could particularly affect the Cape diplomatic of the country.

After its debacle in the European elections on Sunday, President Emmanuel Macron's camp is trying to present the vote of June 30 and July 7 as a “social choice” between the “progressive” bloc that he would embody and the “extremes” on the left and right which “fuels division”, said Prime Minister Gabriel Attal on Thursday morning on radio France inter.

“We are in a difficult moment, we must go convince the French but I am not the type to give up,” he then declared in Boulogne-sur-mer (north) for his first campaign trip.

Since the electoral triumph of the National Rally (RN, far right), political recomposition has accelerated rapidly in the country, sometimes turning into chaos.

And the poker move of dissolution attempted by Emmanuel Macron has, it seems, had no positive effect on his popularity: only 24% of French people say they “trust” the president, the lowest since the start of his second term in 2022, according to a survey carried out in the days following this resounding decision.

Since this twist of events, gaping fractures have opened up in the within the right-wing opposition. Disowned by his troops for having proposed an unprecedented alliance with the RN, Eric Ciotti was ousted on Wednesday from the head of the main conservative party, the Republicans (LR), but clings to his post.

On Wednesday, he went so far as to lock the access to the HQ of this formation to deny access to his opponents. He went there on Thursday, refusing to lay down his arms. “I’m president of the party, I go to my office, that’s all,” he said, calling his exclusion a “forceful coup.” His opponents intend to “legitimize before the courts” the ousting of their former leader.

The crisis has also disbanded the small far-right Reconquest party. Its head of the European list, Marion Maréchal, was excluded after calling to vote for the RN of her aunt Marine Le Pen, which confirms its dynamic after achieving the best score in its history on Sunday (31.3%).

The party, engaged for several years in a strategy of demonization, is also leading the polls for the legislative elections even if its possible arrival in power arouses concern of part of the country. Demonstrations against the far right are planned this weekend, at the call of unions and associations.

Also read

  • The main French right-wing party excludes its leader who wanted to ally with the far right
  • Emmanuel Macron calls for a rally against “extremes”

Feeling of “betrayal”

On the left, discussions on an alliance in the legislative elections seem to be on the verge of success after a few jerks.

Overcoming their divisions, La France insoumise (LFI, radical left), the Socialist Party, the Ecologists and the Communist Party (PCF) are trying to come to an agreement to present a single candidate in almost all of the 577 constituencies under the banner “Front popular”, taking the name of a coalition victoriously formed in France in 1936.

Tensions appeared on Thursday but they seem to be dissipating. “We are going to land, there is real progress,” a socialist negotiator explained to AFP at the start of the afternoon.

However, there remains the flammable debate on the identity of the person who would become prime minister in the event of a victory for the left.

Former presidential candidate, LFI leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon said he was “capable” of leading the government but he is not unanimous among some of his left-wing partners, who criticize him in particular for ambiguous statements on anti-Semitism since the October 7 attacks in Israel and his reservations on support for Ukraine.

LFI and RN are calling for profound changes in French diplomacy.

The far-right party, accused of being close to Russia, is balking at aid to Ukraine. LFI is calling for leaving NATO's integrated command, denouncing systematic alignment with the United States.

Despite these uncertainties, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that he was convinced that France would remain a “solid and important” ally, regardless of its next government.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116