French President Emmanuel Macron addresses the nation for the first time on Wednesday since his centrist coalition lost control of parliament in Sunday’s election. Macron held two days of talks with opposition leaders, who publicly ruled out any form of coalition or pact. Watch his speech live by clicking on the video player above.
Macron’s Ensemble (Ensemble) coalition emerged as the largest party in the final round of legislative elections on Sunday, but fell short by dozens of seats to retain the parliamentary majority it had enjoyed for five years.
Macron’s centrist alliance finished 44 seats from a majority in the lower house of the National Assembly as a new left-wing coalition known as NUPES made gains and the far-right party of Marine Le Pen posted her best legislative performance in her history.
The NUPES alliance (New Popular Union) – which brings together La France Insoumise (La France Insoumise), the Socialist Party, the Greens (Europe Ecologie-Les Verts) and the Communist Party under the leadership of the eurosceptic figurehead of the far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon – more than doubled the score of his combined parties in 2017.
The situation has challenged Macron’s ambitious reform plans for his second term after his re-election in April – including a controversial move to raise the retirement age from 62 to 65.
It is also the first time in 20 years that a president does not have an absolute majority in parliament.
Macron held two days of talks with opposition leaders at the Elysee Palace, including the leader of the far-right National Rally party Marine Le Pen, to find a way out of the crisis.
Analysts said the most viable solution would be a deal between Macron’s centrist alliance and the conservative Les Républicains, a declining party that nevertheless won 61 seats. But after talks with Macron on Tuesday, party leader Christian Jacob ruled out any kind of “pact” with Macron’s alliance and said his party preferred to stay in opposition.
Macron’s remarks on Wednesday are his first public comments on the election results, a significant setback for a president with an ambitious domestic reform agenda and keen to play a key role in international crises, including the war in Ukraine.
(TUSEN with TUSEN)