France: 200 candidates withdraw from elections to stop the far-right

In France, more than 200 candidates have withdrawn from the second round of early elections to prevent the far-right party from forming an absolute majority in parliament. This was reported by Le Figaro.

Ultimately, the election saw the withdrawal of 130 members of the left-wing New People’s Front, 82 members of the “Together” (Ensemble) bloc of President Emmanuel Macron, and two Republican candidates.

In this way, they fulfilled their political forces’ request, which called on third-place candidates to withdraw in favor of the one who has the best chance of defeating the far-right rival from Le Pen’s party in the second round.

At the same time, about 10 members of the presidential bloc decided to go all the way, saying they had the votes in their districts to defeat the far-right politician. They will participate in Sunday’s second round of elections to the 577-seat French national parliament.

According to French electoral law, all registered voters who received more than 12.5% of their votes went to the second round. This competition had three or more candidates in over 300 constituencies reach the final round due to the high first-round turnout (over 67%).

Jordan Bardella and Marine Le Pen’s National Rally came out on top in the first round of voting on Sunday. Emmanuel Macron’s center-left camp came in third, and the left-wing New People’s Front came in second.

At the same time, it is far from clear that the National Rally will be able to win the 289 seats needed for a majority, and the withdrawal of their opponents from the elections may further distance this prospect for the far right.

On Sunday, July 7, the French are to elect a total of 501 members of the 577-seat National Assembly. The first round saw the election or re-election of 76 deputies.

According to sociologists, the National Rally could have won 250–300 seats in the first round. But this was before the tactical withdrawal of candidates and cross-party calls for voters to support the candidate who had the best chance of winning over the National Union’s local rival.

“The match is not over yet. We have to mobilize all our forces,” commented Anne Hidalgo, a representative of the Socialists and the mayor of Paris, Reuters reported.

French President Emmanuel Macron called for “democratic unity” in the second round to counter the far right.

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