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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

France. The first round of parliamentary elections

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The first round of parliamentary elections in France has started. Polling stations are open from 8am to 7pm or 8pm, depending on the city. The second round of elections will be held in the week of June 19. Two coalitions are leading in the polls: the presidential and the left.

In the first round of parliamentary elections, Francewhich began Sunday, some 48.7 million registered voters could vote to fill 577 seats in the National Assembly out of the 6,293 candidates running in constituencies across the country.

They are leading in the pre-election polls, achieving very similar results: the center-right presidential coalition Together (Renaissance, Democratic Movement-MoDem, Agir and Horizons) and the left-wing coalition Nupes (New Ecological and Social Union) under the leadership of Jean-Luc Melenchon, head of Undaunted France (LFI) composed of the LFI, the Socialist Party, the Green coalition and the Communist Party of France (PCF).

It is crucial for the presidential coalition to get hold of absolute majority in the National Assembly, i.e. more than 288 seats. Emmanuel Macron’s party in 2017 (La Republique en Marche – LREM) won 306 seats without joining a coalition.

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Nuper’s goal is to appoint Melenchon as prime minister and to create a cohabitation government, that is, one where the government and the president come from opposing political camps.

15 ministers run for the elections

According to the estimates of the daily “Le Monde”, the 1,734 candidates running for the elections already hold some elected office at the local, national or European level.

Also read: Macron on “an important choice” that will be faced by the French on June 12

15 ministers run for elections, ie more than half of the 28 members Council of Ministers mentioned last month after President Emmanuel Macron’s re-election. The president announced that the incumbent minister who loses in his constituency must step down from the government. However, most of the ministers running for these elections – led by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who is a candidate in the Calvados department, campaign in safe, pro-presidential constituencies.

A candidate may win the election in the first round, but it is not an easy task as it requires more than 50 percent. votes in a given constituency and support of at least 25 percent. registered voters. Only four candidates won the first round of the 2017 elections. Each candidate who gets the support of at least 12.5 percent. registered voters may be promoted to the second round, which means that two, three or more candidates may compete in it.

15 seats qualify the party to form a parliamentary group

It is important for parties presenting their candidates to win min. 15 seats in the parliament, as this qualifies the party to form a parliamentary group, which is the basic condition for having a real influence on the work of the chamber. Parliamentary groups have more time to put questions to government ministers in the hemicycle. The group’s status also opens up access to National Assembly funds to cover expenses and staffing, as well as facilities such as parliamentary offices and conference rooms.

A minimum of 58 deputies is required to submit a motion of no confidence in parliament. On the other hand, the threshold for appealing against a bill by referring it to the Constitutional Council is 60 deputies.

Polls

Recent polls show that the Together coalition has a chance to win between 24 and 27 percent. support, Nupes – 23-26.5 percent, National Union Marine Le Pen can count on 18-21 percent of support, Republicans at 11-15 percent, and the party of Reconquista Eric Zemmour at 3 to 4.5 percent.

74 percent respondents are sure of their choice, while 26 percent. it is not sure who it will vote for.

However, only 46 percent of them intend to participate in the elections. French – according to an Odox poll published on Friday in the daily “Le Figaro”. The turnout would therefore be lower than in the 2017 elections by about 3 points. percent

The election campaign was focused primarily on economic and social themes: declining purchasing power of the French and security policy, deteriorating conditions in the health service, and the topic of brutality of the French police was also important.

Election silence

Election silence has been in place in France since Friday from midnight.

French media emphasize that it is difficult to talk about coherent programs running in the coalition elections, because the parties grouped in them set themselves the goal of winning a seat in a given constituency, and not forcing a specific electoral program due to the often contradictory programs of individual coalition members, such as the Socialist Party which represents the moderate left and Untamed France, whose leader is calling for France to leave NATO, the euro area or the WTO.

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / STEPHANIE LECOCQ



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