PARIS (AP) — In order to govern properly, Macron’s fledgling political movement La Republique En Marche (Republic On the Move) must now scramble together a majority of lawmakers in June’s parliamentary elections.
That won’t be easy. Macron is the first president of modern France elected as an independent.
Rivals who backed Macron to counter Le Pen in the presidential runoff will now be mobilized to defeat him in the two-round June 11 and 18 parliamentary vote, aiming to elect their own party members to the National Assembly. All 577 seats in the Assembly are up for grabs.
If another party wins a majority, Macron could be pressured to choose a prime minister from that party, a situation the French call “cohabitation.”
The Republicans, whose defeated presidential candidate Francois Fillon was hobbled by charges that his family benefited from taxpayer-funded jobs, still could emerge as the nation’s strongest political party.
If they win a majority, Francois Baroin, the leader of their parliamentary election campaign, could become a right-wing prime minister under the centrist Macron.
The last time France had “cohabitation” was under President Jacques Chirac in 1997-2002, who described the setup as a state of “paralysis.”
If Macron’s party performs poorly, he could also be forced to form a coalition, a common occurrence in many European countries but something very unusual in France.