Left-wing leader hails victory in France’s snap parliamentary elections

Left-wing leader hails victory in France’s snap parliamentary elections

Jean-Luc Melenchon calls on President Macron, whose bloc ranked second, to admit 'defeat'

By Nur Asena Erturk

As exit polls suggested the left to be leading in Sunday's French parliamentary elections, leader of the leftwing alliance hailed victory and called on the president to admit “defeat.”

“Our people voted consciously,” founder and member of the La France Insoumise party (France Unbowed, or LFI) Jean-Luc Melenchon told a news conference in Paris.

He said the far-right National Rally (RN), who led the first round of the elections on June 30, “is far from having an absolute majority” in parliament.

The former presidential candidate said the results were a “relief” for a big part of the population, and for the people who felt “threatened,” and that President Emmanuel Macron and his bloc’s “defeat was confirmed.”

He called on Macron to admit the “defeat,” and said he must call on the NFP to govern the country.

“The NFP is ready to govern. It is the only … coherent option, … equipped with a well-organized plan, backed up by figures,” Melenchon added.

The NFP could win 180 to 215 seats in the parliament's lower chamber, the National Assembly, according to projections based on the surveying company Ifop’s estimations, the daily Le Figaro reported.

The centrist alliance, Together for the Republic, backed by Macron ranked second with 150 to 180 seats, while Jordan Bardella and Marine Le Pen's RN will get 120 to 150 seats.

The National Assembly has 577 seats, and none of these three primary blocs are projected to get an absolute majority of 289 seats.

A 12-hour-long voting process ended at 8 p.m. local time (1800 GMT), in which over 43 million registered voters cast their ballots for the second round of elections.

Voters headed to the polling stations as of 8 a.m. (0600GMT) to elect the remaining 501 members of the National Assembly for a five-year term.

Seventy-six candidates were elected in the first round.

The Ifop estimated the turnout to be 67.5% at 8 p.m.

In the first round, the RN got 29.26% of the vote by itself (37 seats), a rate that rises to over 33% when combined with its allies.

The NFP got 28.06% (32 seats), and the centrist Together for the Republic alliance backed by President Macron finished third with slightly over 20.04% (two seats).

Macron dissolved the parliament and announced early 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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