Macron asks backing from all 'able to say no to extremes' in snap vote

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Macron asks backing from all 'able to say no to extremes' in snap vote
France's President Emmanuel Macron launches his party's campaign for the snap parliamentary elections that he called. Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday called for backing from people "able to say no to extremes" in snap elections he called after a European poll battering.


"I hope that when the time comes, men and women of goodwill who will have been able to say no to the extremes will come together... will put themselves in a position to build a shared, sincere project that is useful to the country," Macron told journalists at a Paris press conference.

Election news: 5-minute guide to the latest French election news

The president's Renaissance outfit and allies won less than half the 31-percent result of the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) of Marine Le Pen at Sunday's European vote.

It prompted him to trigger surprise snap elections for June 30th and July 7th after two years limping along with a minority government.


"The answer, in my eyes, could not come through changing the government or a coalition... dissolving parliament was necessary," Macron said.

He acknowledged voters' "difficulty getting by even when they're working, very everyday difficulties" that had created "anger, sometimes resentment".

People "feel that they aren't listened to or respected... We can't remain indifferent to all these messages," he added.

But he also lashed out at right-wing Les Républicains, whose leader Eric Ciotti on Tuesday announced an alliance with the RN, as well as a left-wing alliance including the hard-left La France Insoumise (LFI).

The right had "in a few hours turned its back on the legacy of General (Charles) de Gaulle" as well as former presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, he said.

Meanwhile mainstream left parties had allied with an LFI he accused of "anti-Semitism" over its response to Palestinian militant group Hamas' October 7th attack on Israel and the war in Gaza.

Voters had a choice between "unholy alliances at the two extremes who agree on almost nothing except handing out jobs" versus his own bloc with "a single vision of the country" both at home and abroad.

"We aren't perfect... but we've got results," he insisted, pointing to job creation, the energy transition and backing for Ukraine as high points.


Macron was also launching his party's political programme for these legislative elections which included promising a 'great debate' on the always-contentious subject of laïcité (French state secularism), the building of eight new nuclear reactors and restrictions on access to smartphones for children.



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