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‘Not one more vote’: Reactions as France’s far right wins snap election | Elections News

‘Not one more vote’: Reactions as France’s far right wins snap election | Elections News

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Marine Le Pen and her far-right National Rally (RN) have won big in France’s snap election, garnering reactions from domestic rival parties and politicians abroad.

The RN won close to 34 percent of the vote in the first round of the parliamentary election in what was a major victory – but not one that gives the party an absolute majority in the parliament.

Le Pen, trailed by the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) coalition with about 29 percent and President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Ensemble alliance with about 20.5 percent, called on the French citizens to vote for her party during the second round.

Despite his defeat, Macron welcomed the high turnout of 65.8 percent, and reiterated his call to stand up to the far right in the second round.

“Faced with National Rally, the time has come for a great union, clearly democratic and republican for the second round,” the president stressed in an official statement.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, the leader of the centre left, said the president suffered a “hard and indisputable defeat” and was to blame for the shock decision to dissolve parliament, but stopping the far right was the priority.

“Not one more vote for the RN, not one more seat for the RN,” he emphasised.

‘Chaos and failure’

In her first comments following the French first-round results, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Monday said the “constant attempt to demonise” far-right voters was losing impact.

“The constant attempt to demonise and corner people who don’t vote for the left… is a trick that fewer and fewer people fall for,” Meloni told the Adnkronos news agency.

In the United Kingdom, election candidate Keir Starmer from the Labour Party said the far-right victory in France proves the left must show “only progressives have answers” to problems in the UK and across Europe.

“We have to make that progressive call. But we have to, in making that, understand why it is, certainly in the United Kingdom after 14 years of chaos and failure, that people do feel disaffected with politics, return politics to service, and continue to make that argument that politics is a force for good,” he said.

(Al Jazeera)

Israel’s diaspora minister Amichai Chikli said he was “impressed” by the positions adopted by Le Pen, adding that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also seemingly “of the same opinion”.

Chikli told Kan public broadcaster on Monday that it would be “excellent for Israel” if Le Pen became president in France, given her “firm stance” against Hamas, the International Criminal Court, and anti-Semitism.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, however, issued a warning about the far right.

“They love Putin, money and power without control. And they are already in power or are reaching for it in the East or West of Europe,” he wrote in a post online.

“They are joining ranks in the European Parliament. In Poland, we reversed this fatal tide at the very last moment. Let’s not waste it,” he added.

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his cabinet appeared to be respecting an unofficial ban on commenting on foreign elections.

But Michael Roth, a member of Scholz’s Social Democrats, said the party is to blame for not better supporting the pro-European liberal president in France.

“We don’t show enough consideration to the political debates and problems of other countries,” he added, noting that the alternative to Macron “is indeed no longer [former French President Nicolas] Sarkozy but rather a hard-right nationalist like Marine Le Pen”.

Spain’s socialist leader, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, said he saw a warning in the far-right win in France.

“The advance of the far right in France isn’t unconnected with what’s happening in other parts of the world – including in Spain – where we’re seeing how, directly or indirectly … the far right is advancing institutionally and in the opinion polls,” he said in an interview with the Cadena Ser radio network.

Meanwhile, French and European markets had a favourable reaction to the result of the election on Monday.

French stocks and the euro rallied, with the CAC 40 index, which represents 40 of the biggest companies listed in Paris, rising 2.7 percent at the open before cooling slightly.

The euro, which had taken a hit after Macron’s surprise announcement on back of the European Parliament elections in early June, reached its strongest level against the United States dollar in more than two weeks.

European stocks traded higher as well, with Europe’s STOXX 600 index rebounding from losses last week, partly driven by the boost to the CAC 40 index.

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