French far-right figure Le Pen hails 'end' of President Macron’s bloc after snap polls

French far-right figure Le Pen hails 'end' of President Macron’s bloc after snap polls

Former president of National Rally welcomes high turnout in parliamentary elections

By Nur Asena Erturk

French far-right figure Marine Le Pen hailed the end of President Emmanuel “Macron’s bloc” on Sunday after receiving preliminary results of the snap elections.

“Democracy has spoken. The French have placed the National Rally (RN) and its allies on top and have practically erased the Macronist bloc,” Marine Le Pen told a news conference.

The former president of the RN also welcomed a high turnout that is estimated to surpass 65%, according to surveys.

Le Pen warned the citizens against “unjustified fear” and “invented threats” regarding the far-right, and vowed that no French would see a loss of their rights.

“We need an absolute majority,” she said and stressed the importance of the second round of the elections that will be held on July 7.

- Far-right leader calls for unity

Addressing a news conference, president of RN Jordan Bardella hailed the preliminary results.

He called for joining forces in the next round, warning against a left-wing victory, and promising that he would be the guardian of French citizens’ rights and freedom.

Bardella also vowed that he would be a prime minister of "cohabitation (coalition), respectful of the Constitution and the president's function, but uncompromising on the policy" that his party would implement.

The RN got 34.2% of the votes, according to exit polls based on the surveying company Ifop’s estimations, the daily Le Figaro reported.

The “New Popular Front” gathering the left-wing parties received 29.1% and comes second for now, while the centrist alliance “Together for the Republic” backed by President Macron ranked third with 21.5% of votes.

A 12-hour-long voting process ended on Sunday where over 49 million registered voters cast their ballots in the snap parliamentary elections.

Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. (0600GMT) across the country.

Voters headed to the polling stations to elect 577 members of the National Assembly, the lower chamber of parliament, for a five-year term.

President Macron dissolved parliament and announced snap elections after the RN swept more than 31% of the vote in the European Parliament elections on June 9, defeating his centrist bloc.

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