In a shock move, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday he would dissolve parliament and call for new legislative elections later this month after he defeated far-right Marine Le Pen in European elections. were defeated by the party of

French President Emmanuel Macron (Reuters)

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Macron said the results were a disaster for his government, and one he could not afford to ignore. In a high-stakes political gamble, two months before Paris hosts the Olympics, he said lower house elections would be called on June 30, with a second round of voting on July 7.

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If Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) party wins a parliamentary majority, Macron’s widely unexpected decision could leave her in an almost powerless position.

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Led by the telegenic 28-year-old Jordan Bardella, the RN won about 32% of Sunday’s vote, more than double Macron’s ticket’s 15%, according to the first exit polls. The Socialists came within a whisker of Macron with 14%.

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