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Macron calls for a ‘solid majority’ in Sunday’s legislative elections in ‘troubled times’

Speaking as he left Paris to visit French troops sent to Romania in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron called on voters on Tuesday to give him a ‘solid majority’ during Sunday’s legislative elections, warning against adding “French disorder to the global crisis”. disorder.”

He said ‘the coming months will be difficult’ but called on people to support him in the name of the ‘higher national interest’ and ‘common sense’.

Macron’s visit this week to Romania and neighboring Moldova has been criticized at home, landing ahead of a crucial second round of parliamentary elections in which his centrist majority is under threat.

“Emmanuel Macron has planned a trip abroad for three days (…) after having anesthetized the campaign by refusing any debate, he saw the second round as a done deal”, declared to the newspaper Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the left-wing alliance NUPES. Parisian daily.

The incumbent had previously been accused by opponents of missing the April presidential election, winning a solid but unspectacular victory over far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Appearing to be betting on a similar strategy in this month’s parliamentary poll, his Ensemble (Together) alliance suffered in Sunday’s first round while NUPES and the far right made gains.

Projections suggest that voters could award Together 255 to 295 seats in the second round – an uncomfortably low level compared to the threshold of an absolute majority of 289.

Macron on Tuesday acknowledged the “mess in our daily lives”, telling voters “you are already paying more for your gas, your gas, your groceries, and the months ahead will be difficult.”

“In these troubled times, the choice you have to make this Sunday is more crucial than ever,” he added, calling on both people who voted for other candidates and non-voters to rally together. to him.

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While the campaign has been dominated by inflation and other economic impacts of war in Ukraine, the left is also trying to turn it into a referendum on Macron’s plans to raise the minimum retirement age to 65. as part of a pension overhaul.

But all parties struggled to get voters excited for the poll, with just 47.5% turnout on Sunday, the lowest ever in a first-round parliamentary election.

Since the reform of the electoral calendar in the early 2000s, interest in the general election, which follows the presidential election, has faded, as it has always given the Head of State a comfortable majority.

(with agency contributions)

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