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France Prepares for Crucial Legislative Elections

Paris, June 30, 2024, The Europe Today: France is gearing up for its legislative elections, with 577 constituencies each sending one delegate to the National Assembly in Paris. Candidates securing more than 50% of the vote in the first round are elected, though this is rare. Those receiving at least 12.5% of registered votes advance to a decisive second round on July 7, where the top scorer wins.

President Emmanuel Macron, whose term runs until 2027, faces the prospect of “cohabitation” if either the far-right National Rally (RN) or the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) wins a majority. Cohabitation would require Macron to appoint a prime minister from a different political camp, dividing executive power.

In the event of an RN victory, party president Jordan Bardella would likely become prime minister, not Marine Le Pen, who leads the RN’s parliamentary group. The prime minister manages domestic laws, while Macron would remain head of the military and foreign policy.

Macron’s Renaissance party, with 169 lawmakers, is currently the largest grouping in the National Assembly. The RN, holding 88 seats, is the largest opposition party. Analysts predict the RN could secure the most seats, but it’s uncertain if they will achieve an absolute majority of 289.

This election follows Macron’s political gamble to call legislative elections after his party’s setback in the European Parliament elections, with the RN leading in pre-election polls. The outcome could see France’s first far-right government since World War II, as the newly formed NFP alliance positions itself as a significant contender.