Macron urges moderates to unite against ‘extremism’ in French snap election

French leader slams ‘unnatural alliances’ on left and right and calls for unity among democratic forces.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks about the priorities of his Renaissance party and its allies before early legislative elections in Paris, France, on June 12, 2024 [Stephane Mahe/(Reuters]

French President Emmanuel Macron has called on moderate politicians to unite against the far right and far left.

The French leader said on Wednesday that he wants “our compatriots and political leaders who do not recognise themselves in the extremist fever” to join together. He made the call as he faces a challenge from the far-right in snap elections on June 30 and July 7.

Macron was speaking for the first time since Sunday when the poor performance of his centrist Renaissance party in European Union elections led him to announce a surprise dissolution of parliament and national elections.

During Wednesday’s press conference, he called on “men and women of goodwill who were able to say ‘no’ to extremes to join together to be able to build a joint project” to best serve France.

Voters in France dealt a huge blow to the president in the elections for the European Parliament last week. Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally secured more than twice the ballots won by the president’s party, which finished second, trailed by the centre left.


The president’s call for unity among democratic forces followed an announcement by Eric Ciotti, leader of the conservative Republican Party, of plans to form an alliance with Le Pen.

Left-wing parties are also mobilising despite divisions. The Greens, Socialists, Communists and far-left France Unbowed agreed on Monday to form an alliance.

Macron said on Wednesday that Ciotti had made “a pact with the devil” and criticised alliances on both the left and right.

“We have unnatural alliances at both extremes who agree on nothing except the jobs to be shared and who will not be able to implement any programme,” the president said.

He called on the “centrist, progressive, democratic and republican” bloc to unite and counter those alliances, either before or after the elections.

Ciotti, meanwhile, has faced a storm of criticism from inside the Republican Party for “betrayal” of its legacy.

Staying on

On Tuesday, Macron, who has three years left in his term, ruled out resigning “whatever the result” of the snap elections, saying the French Constitution supports his position as president.

He reiterated that position during the news conference, saying the prospect of his resignation “never existed”.

Macron also announced that France has suspended planned electoral reform in its overseas territory of New Caledonia.

The South Pacific archipelago has seen significant unrest over the plan in recent weeks, which has killed multiple people and seen troops deployed from France.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies