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Before parliamentary elections: France: Hundreds of thousands demonstrate against shift to the right

Before parliamentary elections: France: Hundreds of thousands demonstrate against shift to the right
Before parliamentary elections: France: Hundreds of thousands demonstrate against shift to the right

In the parliamentary elections in France, the right-wing nationalists led by Marine Le Pen could come to power. Tens of thousands of people have demonstrated against this in many cities across the country.

Tens of thousands of people have demonstrated against the extreme right in France. In Paris and other major cities and towns, people followed calls from trade unions and other organizations to protest against Marine Le Pen’s right-wing nationalist Rassemblement National (RN) party, which could potentially gain government responsibility in the parliamentary elections scheduled at short notice.

According to the Interior Ministry, 250,000 people took part in the demonstrations nationwide, 75,000 in Paris alone. The CGT union spoke of 640,000 demonstrators across France, including 250,000 in the capital. On the sidelines of several protest marches, there were isolated cases of property damage and confrontations between demonstrators and the police, media reported. Demonstrations are also planned for Sunday.

“Either it’s the extreme right or it’s us,” said the leader of France’s Left Party, Mathilde Panot, at the head of the Paris demonstration in view of the parliamentary elections. Like Panot, numerous other leading politicians from left-wing parties, who had presented a left-wing alliance for the election the day before, had joined the demonstration in the capital. “You don’t have to vote RN to love France” and “Never again” were written on banners carried by demonstrators in Marseille. “Against the brown plague, put paving stones at the ballot box” read a banner in Paris.

New elections in a few weeks

In response to the defeat of his liberal forces in the European elections and the landslide victory of the right-wing nationalists, President Emmanuel Macron surprisingly dissolved the National Assembly last Sunday and announced new elections for June 30 and July 7.

A familiar face has now returned for the election: France’s former president François Hollande (69) is running for MP in the upcoming parliamentary elections. “The extreme right has never been so close to power. There is political confusion in our country,” said the socialist. In view of this serious situation, he has decided to run as a candidate in the Corrèze department in southwest France as part of the new left-wing alliance Le nouveau Front populaire. Hollande was French head of state from 2012 to 2017.

The RN’s strong performance in the European elections cannot automatically be transferred to the parliamentary elections, as France has a majority voting system. The representative of a constituency who receives the most votes in the second round of the runoff election is elected to parliament.

Source: Stern

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