Race Against Time: France's Political Landscape in Turmoil Amid Snap Elections

Candidates hurried to register before the deadline for France's snap parliamentary elections. A left-wing alliance formed to counter the far right lost a potential lawmaker due to a past conviction. President Macron dissolved the assembly after a defeat, hoping the legislative vote would boost his centrist party.


PTI | Paris | Updated: 16-06-2024 19:53 IST | Created: 16-06-2024 19:53 IST
Race Against Time: France's Political Landscape in Turmoil Amid Snap Elections
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Candidates were in a frantic race to register before the Sunday evening deadline for France's snap parliamentary elections, which are dramatically reshaping the nation's political scene. A new left-wing alliance, formed to counter the rising far-right, faced a setback when a prospective lawmaker with a past conviction for spousal assault withdrew in the final hours.

Adrien Quatennens' exit exposed fractures within the fledgling New Popular Front. This uneasy coalition, composed of far-left to centre-left parties, is campaigning against the alarming possibility of France's first far-right government since the Nazi occupation. The elections, framed by the two rounds on June 30 and July 7, are crucial in determining France's political future.

President Emmanuel Macron dissolved the National Assembly, France's lower house of parliament, following a humbling defeat by the far right in the European elections on June 9. Quatennens, who previously served as a lawmaker with the hard-left France Unbowed party, received a suspended four-month jail term in 2022 for spousal assault. Despite this, he was included among the 230 candidates put forward by France Unbowed in alliance with the New Popular Front, immediately testing the coalition's unity.

Outgoing left-wing lawmaker François Ruffin claimed that Quatennens was chosen over other candidates due to his loyalty to France Unbowed leader Jean-Luc Melenchon. In a tweet, Ruffin criticized the decision, saying, "You prefer a man who hits his wife, perpetrator of domestic violence, to comrades who have the impudence to have a disagreement with the great leader." Under pressure, Quatennens announced on Sunday that he would not run, concerned about harming the coalition and its chances of defeating the far right. "In under three weeks, this beautiful country... could be governed by fascists for the first time since World War II," Quatennens warned.

Macron hopes that the early legislative vote will allow his centrist party to recover from a crushing defeat by the far-right National Rally in the European Parliament elections, betting that voters who drifted to the far right will reconsider the prospect of far-right governance in France.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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