President Emmanuel Macron dissolved France’s lower house of parliament after his party suffered a humiliating defeat by the far-right in European elections on Sunday, sending voters back to the polls in the coming weeks. .

Legislative elections will be held in two rounds on June 30 and July 7.

The announcement comes after France’s first expected results put the far-right National Rally party well ahead in EU parliamentary elections, giving Macron’s pro-European centrists a solid lead, according to French polling agencies. Severely damaged.

Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration, nationalist party was estimated to get around 31-32% of the vote, more than double the historic result of Mr Macron’s Renaissance party, which was around 15%. It was estimated to arrive.

Mr Macron himself was not a candidate in the EU elections and his term as president still runs for another three years.

He said the decision was “serious” but showed “confidence in our democracy, letting sovereign people have their say”. “In the next few days, I will say what I think is the right direction for the nation. I have heard your message, your concerns, and I will not leave them unanswered,” he said.

In the latest legislative elections in 2022, Mr Macron’s centrist party won the most seats but lost its majority in the National Assembly, forcing lawmakers to resort to political maneuvering to pass the bill.

With the June 9 decision, he is taking a big risk with a move that could backfire and ultimately boost Le Pen’s chances of taking power.

A scenario in which an opposition party eventually wins a majority in parliament could lead to a fraught power-sharing situation known as “cohabitation”, in which Mr Macron becomes prime minister with differing views. Name the

Ms Le Pen, who heads the National Rally group in the National Assembly, “welcomed” Mr Macron’s move.

‘We are ready for it,’ said Ms Le Pen, who was Mr Macron’s runner-up in the last two presidential elections. “If the French people trust us in these future legislative elections, we are ready to use force. We are ready to turn the country around, ready to defend the interests of the French, in a big way. Willing to end immigration, prioritize French spending power The EU election results were a major blow to Mr Macron, who has backed Europe-wide efforts to defend Ukraine and the EU. Advocating the need to promote defense and industry.

National Rally’s leading candidate for the EU elections, Jordan Bardella, campaigned to limit the free movement of migrants through national border controls and by dialing back EU climate rules. The party no longer wants to leave the EU and the euro, but aims to undermine it from within.

“Tonight, our countrymen have expressed their desire for change,” Mr. Bardella said. “Emmanuel Macron is a weak president tonight.” An official in Mr Macron’s office said the decision to dissolve the National Assembly was justified by the “historic score of the right wing” which cannot be ignored and the current “parliamentary dysfunction”. “You are never wrong when you tell people something,” said the official, who spoke anonymously in line with Mr. Macron’s office practice.

EU election estimates also show a resurgence of the Socialist Party with around 14% of the vote. The party campaigned for more ambitious climate policies and protections for European businesses and workers, with around 14% of the vote.

Reacting to Mr Macron’s announcement, far-left politician François Ruffin called on all leaders on the left, including the Greens, to unite under the banner of a “popular front”. “To avoid the worst, to win,” he wrote on X.

France is electing 81 members of the European Parliament, which has a total of 720 seats.

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