No one won the parliamentary elections.

Macron after casting his vote

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  • Frank Renaut

    France correspondent

  • Frank Renaut

    France correspondent

French President Macron made his voice heard in public for the first time since he lost parliamentary elections last Sunday. Open letter “Nobody” won the recent parliamentary elections, he told regional press.

The left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) coalition won the most seats on Sunday, but not an absolute majority. According to Macron, the various parties must form a broad coalition to govern together.

This is what the NFP is up against. The left-wing parties want to govern themselves and nominate their own prime minister now that they have the largest faction in the Assembly, or French parliament. But Macron says in his open letter: I appoint the prime minister and these are my conditions.

“The president refuses to recognize the election results,” leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon responded. “It’s as if the king is vetoing the voters’ verdict.”

“The French want to share power”

Macron’s open letter puts France’s already polarized relations on edge. Last Sunday’s parliamentary elections saw the emergence of three major power blocs. But none of the three has the absolute majority needed to get proposals through the Assembly: 289 seats out of 577.

The left-wing NFP coalition emerged victorious with 182 seats. Pro-Macron parties came in second with 168 seats. The far-right National Rally came in third. 143 seats.

According to French political tradition, the largest party in parliament provides a prime minister and a government. The prime minister is usually nominated by the winning party, but must be formally appointed by the president. Macron sees it differently, he wrote in his open letter.

“The elections have shown that the French want change and that they want to share power,” he wrote. “That’s why the different parties must now work together in a grand coalition.”

Macron calls for a coalition of different parties that has the support of a “strong majority” in parliament. But he does not spell out what that majority should look like. He says only that the parties involved must recognize the rule of law and be pro-European.

“Embarrassing Circus”

Observers suspect that he only wants to cooperate with parties of the left and the moderate right. But with the moderate right, Macron does not have an absolute majority. It currently seems impossible that the moderate left parties in the NFP coalition would want to “switch” to a coalition with Macron.

The president also does not expect to reach an agreement in the short term, he writes. “It will take time for the two sides to reach compromises while respecting each other’s positions,” he added. Until then, he wants to leave his government in power to deal with current affairs.

Several left-wing politicians reacted angrily. “Macron is effectively asking MPs not to listen to the French who voted for the PNT,” said politician Clementine Autain. “Macron is denying the election results and harming our country and our democracy,” said her colleague Marine Tondele.

Far-right Marine Le Pen also reacted with dismay. She wrote on X that Macron himself had called for early elections and now wanted to stop the winner. “This circus is becoming embarrassing.”

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