TimeTestedNews ||France Election: Surprise win for leftwing alliance keeps far right from power

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A leftwing alliance has become the most significant force in the French parliament after tactical voting held back the far right, but won an absolute majority, the Guardian reports.

Results of Sunday’s second-round election show that the leftwing New Popular Front (NPF) won 182 seats, followed by President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Together Alliance with 163 and the far right in a distant third with 143 seats.

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In the first round of the election, the far right and its allies forged a commanding lead but were ultimately held back by massive tactical voting to prevent them from winning enough seats to form a government.

Although the left alliance won the most seats, it was more than 100 seats short of an absolute majority. Amid a high turnout estimated at about 67 per cent, no single party won an absolute majority of 289 seats and the ability to form a government.

The parliament is likely to be divided into three blocs: the left, centrists and the far right, according to the Guardian analysis.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, who is part of Macron’s alliance, said he would resign on Monday. However, President Macron has asked him to remain in office for now. But it remains unclear who will succeed Mr Attal.

“Tonight, a new era begins,” the Guardian quoted him, adding that France’s destiny would play out “more than ever in parliament.”

“I know that, in the light of tonight’s results, a lot of French people feel uncertainty about the future because no majority has emerged. Our country is in an unprecedented political situation and is preparing to welcome the world [at the Olympics] in a few weeks. I will stay in my role as long as duty requires.”

Mr Macron will now have to work with a divided parliament but this election doesn’t directly affect his job – he has three years left of his presidential term.

The president’s office said Mr Macron is awaiting the full results of all 577 constituencies “before taking the necessary decisions.”

“In his role as guarantor of our institutions, the president will ensure that the sovereign choice of the French people is respected,” it said.

On Sunday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez hailed France’s “rejection of the far right.”

He welcomed the shock result alongside this week’s UK general election, where the centre-left Labour party achieved a landslide, saying both countries “have said YES to progress and social progress and NO to going back on rights and freedoms.”

US Senator Bernie Sanders also congratulated the French left for “taking on right-wing extremism and winning.”

Brazil’s president, Luiz da Silva, congratulated the NFP, tweeting that he was “very happy” with the “demonstration of greatness and maturity” that saw leftist and centrist political forces unite to prevent the election of the far right.

He wrote: “This result, as well as the victory of the Labour party in the United Kingdom, reinforces the importance of dialogue between progressive segments in defence of democracy and social justice. They should serve as an inspiration for South America.”