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POLITICS

Putin congratulates Macron on French elections and wishes him ‘success’

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated French President Emmanuel Macron on his re-election and defeat of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, the Kremlin said Monday, as tensions remain over the Ukraine conflict.

Putin congratulates Macron on French elections and wishes him 'success'
French President Emmanuel Macron talks to Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo by Michel Euler / POOL / AFP)

“I sincerely wish you success in your state activities, as well as good health and well-being,” Putin said in a telegram to Macron, according to a statement from the Kremlin.

Macron was one of the few Western leaders to contact Putin since Moscow moved troops into Ukraine, spending hours on telephone calls trying to negotiate a resolution to the conflict.

But while keeping its diplomatic channels to Moscow open, France under Macron has joined the barrage of international sanctions on Russia imposed over the military campaign.

Macron secured a victory over Le Pen in a second round of voting over the weekend, defeating his far-right rival who was accused of links to Russia.

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HEALTH

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

After the seismic decision of the US Supreme Court on Friday, French MPs are calling for the right to abortion in France to be protected by the constitution.

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

Lawmakers from French President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party are to propose a parliamentary bill on Saturday that would enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution. 

The move comes after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 “Roe v. Wade” decision on Friday.

“In France we guarantee and advance the rights of women. We protect them,” said Aurore Bergé – the head of Renaissance in the Assemblée nationale and one of the key sponsors of the bill. 

Another co-sponsor, Marie-Pierre Rixain tweeted: “What happens in elsewhere cannot happen in France. We must protect the right to abortion for future generations. 

In 2018 and 2019, Emmanuel Macron’s party – which back then was known as La République en Marche – refused to back bills proposed by left-wing party, La France Insoumise, to enshrine abortion rights into the constitution. 

In a Saturday interview with France Inter, Bergé suggested that the success of Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National during parliamentary elections earlier this month had created a sense of newfound urgency. 

She described the far-right MPs as “fierce opponents of women’s access to abortion” and said it was important “to take no risk” in securing it. 

READ MORE France’s Macron condemns US abortion ruling

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has come out in support of the bill. 

The left-wing opposition block, NUPES, also backs it and had planned to propose an identical piece legislation of its own on Monday. 

Macron is seeking parliamentary allies to pass reforms after his formation lost its majority in legislative elections earlier this month.

The legal timeframe to terminate a pregnancy in France was extended from 12 to 14 weeks in the last legislature.

Changing the constitution requires the National Assembly and Senate to adopt the same text, then a three-fifths majority of parliament sitting in congress. The other option is a referendum.

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