Leftist candidates are in the lead in the first round of the French parliamentary election to choose the 577 members of the Assemblée Nationale (the lower house of the Parliament). If it continues into the second round, it’ll reshape France’s legislative policy. After the first round, the Socialists won 22 seats outright, whilst the previous leaders, the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), won only seven seats without a run-off. Some 35 percent of the voters cast their ballots for the Socialists, who have a chance to get up to 350 seats in a coalition with the Greens. Since an absolute majority is 289 seats, this means that the Socialists won’t have to form a bloc with the Left Front, with whom it has some crucial controversies.
Yuri Rubinsky, the head of the French Studies Department of the Institute for European Studies, commented on the election results, saying, “The first round brought no surprises, its results were as predicted by the polls. The turnout was very low, even lower than the presidential election. This election shifted the balance of power as the Socialists, led by the new President, François Hollande, and their allies gained a majority and, obviously, will dominate the Parliament”. President Hollande and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault made a deal to remove those ministers who don’t win a seat in the election. Out of 34 ministers, 25 are contesting legislative seats in the election. The Prime Minister secured an outright victory in his district already in the first round. Another five ministers, including Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, also won their districts. However, they won’t be working in the Parliament; they’ll send their delegates instead.
Rubinsky explained how the results would affect Russian-French relations, noting, “I don’t think the election results will change our bilateral relations, especially in economic matters. As for politics, Russia and France don’t agree on the Syrian crisis and on the Iranian nuclear programme, namely, on how we should solve these conflicts. First of all, I hope that the new government would look for a compromise”. The ex-ruling UMP will lose its majority for the first time since 2002, and, thus, will become the opposition. Observers expect the UMP and its allies to lose up to 100 seats, winning only 270 seats compared to 315 in the current Parliament. However, UMP leaders claim that they plan no alliance with Marine Le Pen’s far-right Front National (FN). This time, the FN, which has been out of the Parliament for the last 15 years, did worse than expected. The party hoped to lead in 150 districts, but led only in 75, which may mean that it’ll gain three seats at the most in the second round. One of them will go to the party’s leader and ex-presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.
12 June 2012
Voice of Russia World Service
The trend in all elections this year has been to the LEFT. That doesn’t bode well for the rightists. Remember what “freedom” means for the “conservative”… “freedom” means the “ability to screw others for one’s own profit without any consequences”. I’m not alone in noticing that such an idea’s crank and un-Christian… so, don’t let loud righties on the internet spook you. Mark that ballot on 6 November…