Wednesday, December 13, 2017 | ePaper

Macron's party on course for a landslide victory in parliamentary elections

  • Print


French President Emmanuel Macron is on course for a landslide win in Sunday's parliamentary elections to complete his overhaul of national politics.

AFP, Paris :
French President Emmanuel Macron is on course for a landslide victory in parliamentary elections that will complete his overhaul of national politics as the first voters cast their ballots overseas on Saturday.
The election this weekend will see Macron's 15-month-old party Republic on the Move (REM) and its allies win an overwhelming majority of 400-470 seats in the 577-seat national assembly, pollsters forecast.
The 39-year-old president was once a rank outsider for the presidency and was unknown to the French public until 2014 but looks set to achieve the previously unthinkable by securing a position of overwhelming power.
Since clinching victory in presidential elections on May 7, Macron has made a confident start to his term and his REM parliamentary candidates have been pulled along in his afterglow.
"You could take a goat and give it Macron's endorsement and it would have good chance of being elected," political analyst Christophe Barbier commented recently.
Around half of REM's candidates are virtual unknowns who have never held political office before and are drawn from diverse fields of academia, business or local activism. They include a mathematician, a bullfighter and a former Rwandan orphan.
The other half are a mix of centrists and moderate left- and right-wingers drawn from France's established parties including Macron's ally MoDem.
Such is Macron and REM's domination that many opposition candidates have appealed to voters this week to elect them simply to make sure there is proper scrutiny and a counter-weight in the parliament.
"Looking for an opposition desperately," said the frontpage of Le Parisian newspaper on Saturday.
Former right-wing prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin has urged voters to remember that "we are not electing an emperor".
The voting began Saturday in French overseas territories such as the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe or Martinique and on Sunday in mainland France.
It is the second-round of the election featuring run-off contests between the top candidates after the first round held last Sunday.
The main worry for the new government is abstentionism, which hit a historic nearly 60-year high in the first round of 51.3 percent.
It is forecast to rise again to 53-54 percent in the run-off, much higher than the 44.6 percent in the last election five years ago.
Macron's opponents have suggested that low turnout underlines the lack of popular support for his programme which includes radical labour market reforms, deepening the European Union and an overhaul of the social security system.

More News For this Category

On eve of climate summit, Macron reminds Trump of `responsibility to history`

On eve of climate summit, Macron reminds Trump of `responsibility to history`

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday reminded his US counterpart Donald Trump of his responsibility to history over his decision to quit the Paris climate change agreement, in an interview

EU tells Netanyahu it rejects Trump's Jerusalem move

EU tells Netanyahu it rejects Trump's Jerusalem move

Reuters, Brussels :Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took his case to Europe to ask allies to join the United States in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but met a firm rebuff

Mugabe flies to Singapore, first trip since ouster

Mugabe flies to Singapore, first trip since ouster

Reuters, Harare :Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe has left the country for medical checks in Singapore, his first foreign travel since the army forced him from office last month, a

Women accusing Trump of sexual misconduct seek congressional probe

Women accusing Trump of sexual misconduct seek congressional probe

Reuters, New York :Three women who have accused US President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct called on Monday for a congressional investigation into his behaviour amid a wave of similar

Dangerous winds persist as wildfires roar in California

Dangerous winds persist as wildfires roar in California

AP, Los Angeles :The winds aren't changing for Southern California's wildfires yet.The fifth largest blaze in state history was threatening thousands of homes as it churned through coastal mountains amid

News In Brief

EU suspends funding for Cambodian electionReuters, Phnom Penh The European Union has suspended funding for Cambodia's 2018 general election because the vote cannot be credible after the dissolution of the

California`s Thomas fire scorches area larger than NY City

California`s Thomas fire scorches area larger than NY City

BBC online :The most destructive wildfire raging in southern California has expanded significantly, scorching an area larger than New York City.The Thomas fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

AFP :Saudi Arabia on Monday lifted a decades-long ban on cinemas, part of a series of social reforms by the powerful crown prince that are shaking up the ultra-conservative

May hails new optimism in Brexit talks after deal

Reuters, London :Prime Minister Theresa May will hail "a new sense of optimism" in Brexit talks on Monday, telling parliament Britain and the European Union should sign off on

US, S. Korea, Japan start missile-tracking drill, irking China

US, S. Korea, Japan start missile-tracking drill, irking China

AFP :The US, South Korea and Japan carried out joint exercises Monday to track missiles from North Korea, as China warned that such manoeuvres fuel tensions following nuclear-armed Pyongyang's