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Emmanuel Macron warned he's playing 'Russian Roulette' with French as strategy laid bare

Far-right parties made significant gains in the European Parliament elections, causing an upheaval among traditional powers and prompting French President Emmanuel Macron to call for snap legislative elections.

Macron’s party, Renaissance, suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the far-right National Rally party. Dr Theo Zenou, a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, told Express.co.uk: “President Macron is playing Russian roulette with the French Republic. The President was under no obligation to call snap parliamentary elections.

“Yes, his party took a beating at the EU elections, coming a distant second to the far-right National Rally. And yes, in France, these elections were widely interpreted as a referendum on Macron.

“But nothing in the French constitution forced Macron to now hold national elections.”

Dr Zenou warned of the risks: “The National Rally could win the parliamentary elections and thus form the next government. If so, the next French PM will be far-right.”

He elaborated on Macron’s strategy, suggesting that the President hopes to shock the French into rallying against the far-right. However, he noted that the French parties are too divided, Macron is “too unpopular”, and there is little time to form coalitions.

“Macron probably realises this,” Dr. Zenou added. “While he is hoping to pull off a miracle, he knows that his decision could lead to the first far-right government in France since World War 2. And that is part of Macron’s calculation. He might want to force the far-right into government now, when he is still president, rather than let them ride to victory in 2027 at the next presidential and legislative elections. If so, Macron is hoping that giving power to the far-right now will weaken them in the future.

“They will come into government, make a mess of it, and the French people will be turned off. Their incompetence will be their downfall. But it would be an utterly cynical strategy. From the US to Brazil, the far-right has been in power. And while they have proved incompetent as well as dangerous, their appeal has not abated.”

Macron dissolved the lower house of France’s parliament, sending voters back to the polls in the coming weeks to choose new lawmakers. The legislative elections are scheduled to take place in two rounds on June 30 and July 7.

The decision followed the far-right National Rally party’s strong performance in the European Union’s parliamentary elections, where they garnered around 31 percent-32 percent of the votes, more than double the share of Macron’s Renaissance party, which was projected to reach about 15 percent.

Macron, whose term as president continues for three more years, stated that the decision was “serious” but demonstrated his “confidence in our democracy, in letting the sovereign people have their say.”

He added: “In the next few days, I’ll be saying what I think is the right direction for the nation. I’ve heard your message, your concerns, and I won’t leave them unanswered.”

Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Rally and runner-up to Macron in the last two presidential elections, welcomed the move. “We’re ready for it,” she said. “We’re ready to exercise power if the French people place their trust in us in these future legislative elections. We’re ready to turn the country around, ready to defend the interests of the French, ready to put an end to mass immigration, ready to make the purchasing power of the French a priority.”

Jordan Bardella, the National Rally’s lead candidate for the EU elections, campaigned on limiting the free movement of migrants and scaling back EU climate rules. He stated, “Tonight, our compatriots have expressed a desire for change. Emmanuel Macron is tonight a weakened president.“


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