Populist National Rally (RN) leader Marine Le Pen has called for the dissolution of the French parliament and fresh elections after President Emmanuel Macron’s party lost its majority on Tuesday.
Ms Le Pen invited President Macron to dissolve the parliament and go to the voters after his party, La République en Marche! (LREM/the Republic on the Move), lost its absolute majority by one seat after seven deputies left the party this week to form their own group in the parliament.
“In a perfect democracy, this must push us to come back to the voters, moreover when we lose our majority and when we are in a succession of crises,” Le Pen said. French newspaper Le Figaro reports that she also proposed to make the next election take place under proportional representation.
Currently, French parliamentarians are elected on a two-round system where any candidate that wins over 50 per cent of the vote wins outright or in the event no candidate meets the threshold, the top two face off in a second round.
Poll Shows French Public Not Confident in Macron Govt Coronavirus Response https://t.co/kOVCyGudhX
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Proportional voting, which is used in the European Parliament elections, has favoured Le Pen’s party which enjoys broad national support, but can lose out regionally. The same principle has applied in the past in British politics, where third parties like UKIP or the Liberal Democrats can perform well nationally, but struggle to pick up parliament seats elected on a first past the post system.
Under the PR system, they could be transformed into major parties — as they are in the European Union Parliament elections Britain used to participate in.
Last year, the RN won the most seats in the European parliament, beating Macron’s LREM and also used the victory to call for new elections.
Commenting on the fracturing of Macron’s party, Le Pen said: “The breakdown of this bric-a-brac alliance was predictable. The elected representatives of The Republic on the Move have only one thing in common: they had the intuition to cling to the Macron hot air balloon during the last presidential election.”
While the loss of majority does not require President Macron to call for new elections, the situation will become much more difficult for him to push his agenda.
Polls released last month showed that just 35 per cent of the French public was confident in President Macron’s response to the Wuhan coronavirus.