Posted on June 13, 2024

French Right-Wing Parties Fracture as Macron’s Snap Poll Reshapes Politics

AFP, June 13, 2024

Coming just two years after he failed to secure a majority in parliament to buttress his second presidential term, Macron’s gamble on early polls risks strengthening the far-right National Rally (RN) and has sparked meltdown among traditional conservatives.

Eric Ciotti of the mainstream right Republicans party announced a surprise alliance with the RN this week, which prompted the rest of the leadership team to vote him out Wednesday.

But on Thursday Ciotti insisted he was still party leader, dismissing the effort to oust him as “quibbles, little battles by mediocre people… who understand nothing about what’s going on in the country”, adding that it was legally void.

“I’m president of the party, I’m going to my office and that’s it,” Ciotti told reporters as he arrived at Republicans headquarters in Paris, calling his opponents’ vote a “takeover” attempt and saying he had challenged its validity in court.

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The lightning election campaign, with the first round of voting on June 30, has also shattered the RN’s smaller far-right rival Reconquest over whether to ally with the heavyweight formation.

Marion Marechal, who led the list of Reconquest in Sunday’s European vote, called for an alliance with the RN—whose figurehead Marine Le Pen is her aunt.

“She’s reached the end of the road, she’s shutting herself out of this party that she’s always despised,” Reconquest founder Eric Zemmour said late Wednesday.

While smaller outfits fight amongst themselves, Le Pen’s RN appears set to cruise to a massively increased parliamentary presence {snip}

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