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10 Jun, 2024 06:48

Le Pen ‘ready to exercise power’ after Macron party trounced

The former National Rally leader has promised to defend the interests of the French people
Le Pen ‘ready to exercise power’ after Macron party trounced

Right-wing French politician Marine Le Pen has said she is ready to lead the country, after President Emmanuel Macron called a snap election in the wake of a projected crushing defeat for his Renaissance party in the EU parliamentary vote.

Le Pen, widely seen as the frontrunner for the French 2027 presidential election, said she could “not but welcome” Macron’s decision to dissolve the National Assembly, after her National Rally (RN) party, currently led by Jordan Bardella, won around a third of the vote in EU elections, securing 30 seats in the European Parliament. Macron’s Renaissance alliance trailed with around 15% of the vote.

“We’re ready to exercise power if the French people place their trust in us in these future legislative elections,” Le Pen said at a rally on Sunday, shortly after Macron’s shock announcement to hold a parliamentary election. “We’re ready to turn the country around, ready to defend the interests of the French, ready to put an end to mass immigration, ready to make the purchasing power of the French a priority.”

National Rally leader Bardella, who has consistently campaigned for limiting the free movement of migrants by implementing national border controls, and for relaxing EU climate rules, echoed Le Pen’s remarks, saying “France has given its verdict and there is no appeal.” He argued that the results of the vote demonstrate the “determination of our country for the European Union to change direction” with the French people expressing “a desire for change.” 

“Emmanuel Macron is tonight a weakened president,” Bardella stated.

Macron’s office justified the decision to dissolve the National Assembly, citing “the historic score of the far-right” and the current “parliamentarian disorder.”

The EU parliamentary election concluded on Sunday after four days of voting. Exit polls have indicated a shift towards support for far-right and conservative parties.

Macron, an ardent advocate of aiding and arming Ukraine in the conflict with Russia, has been accused by Le Pen of “playing politics with war” and “hijacking” the hostilities to achieve his electoral agenda. She slammed Macron’s decision to allow Ukraine to use Western-supplied weapons to strike deeper into Russian territory, arguing it would create a “staggering danger” for France.

Le Pen, a former three-time presidential candidate, has also consistently opposed Ukraine’s admission into NATO and the EU, as well as speaking out against economic sanctions on Russia.