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The hour of reckoning for Macron on the occasion of the kick-off of the 2nd round of the French legislative elections

It’s only been two months since French President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected in a conspiratorial victory, but he already faces another close election as a newly formed left-wing alliance coalition takes on the centrist leader.

On Sunday, thousands of people came to vote for the second and final round of legislative elections. Macron is seeking a majority to push through promised tax cuts, welfare reform and raising the retirement age. According to AFP, the participation rate was 18.99% until the afternoon.

Polls have indicated that Macron’s coalition will eventually prove to be the largest party in the next National Assembly, but may not be able to secure the 289 seats needed for a majority.

The far left is led by 70-year-old Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who clashed with the 44-year-old French president just a week ago, AFP news agency reports.

They are called NUPES, which means New Popular Ecological and Social Union.

In the first round of voting last week, Macron was disappointed after NUPES finished neck and neck with around 26%.

“The vote is extremely open, and it would be unseemly to say that things are settled one way or another,” Melenchon told reporters on Friday during a final campaign stop in Paris.

The centrist Macron alliance, Together, depicts them as a “marriage of convenience” between communists, socialists, far-left melenchonists and greens.

Read also | Why the French legislative elections are important for Macron

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who lost to Macron in the presidential elections, is also eyeing big gains for her National Rally party, which had just eight seats in the outgoing parliament.

Sunday’s vote is almost entirely comprised of second-round duels between two candidates, and nearly half involve the two major alliances.

Several Macron government ministers are fighting to keep their seats and keep their jobs, and two of the toughest fights involve Europe Minister Clément Beaune and Green Transition Minister Amélie de Montchalin.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 11:26am on Wednesday June 29th, 2022