After Macron win, France's main parties fret over parliament elections

Lauren Perry
May 15, 2017

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron attends a ceremony commemorating the abolition of slavery, in Paris, Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

French president-elect Emmanuel Macron faces the first major test of his plans to overhaul the country's politics Thursday as his party reveals its candidates for parliamentary elections in June. All that's missing, it seems, are a butcher, a baker and a candlestick-maker.

Macron's year-old Republic on the Move party does not have any seats in the current parliament but it hopes in June to secure a majority that will allow him to push through economic reforms for reviving an economy beset by high unemployment and sluggish growth. After that, he threw his support to Macron before the presidential election.

Valls, a center-leaning politician in favor of relaxing France's tight labor protections, could not even win his own Socialist party's presidential primary, losing to Benoit Hamon.

The centrist Macron, 39, formed his own party only last year, and his election victory over the National Front's Marine Le Pen on Sunday has destroyed the dominance of the centre-left and centre-right parties which have governed France for almost 60 years.

The En Marche! party will now be called Republique en Marche, or Republic on the Move, party secretary-general Richard Ferrand said on Monday.

Francois Baroin, head of the Republicans' parliamentary election team, said on Tuesday they would abandon key proposals that their unsuccessful presidential candidate, Francois Fillon, stood for. "I will be a candidate in the presidential majority and I wish to join up to his movement, the Republic on the Move".

As well as deciding on the crucial figure of his first prime minister - which will send a powerful signal about his intentions - Macron has also had to grapple this week with the case of a problematic former colleague.

The two-round legislative elections are scheduled to take place on June 11 and June 18 to elect the 577 members of the National Assembly, France's lower and more powerful house of parliament.

Other reports by VgToday

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