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New French parliament seated, but for how long?

Ramin Mazaheri
Press TV, Paris

France’s new parliament has been inaugurated, and many expect the next five years will be turbulent. President Emmanuel Macron was reprimanded at the ballot box, losing his absolute majority. He then failed to cobble together a coalition, leaving France with a so-called "hung parliament."

Each different bill will now have to find its own majority to become enacted, although since 2012 French presidents have often resorted to executive decrees to pass unpopular austerity-minded legislation. Many also speculate that if Parliament doesn’t work in his favor that Macron could call for new elections in maybe a matter of months.

The far-right National Rally, led by Marine Le Pen, won a record 15% of seats. Islamophobia has already been obvious in France’s judicial and presidential branches, and it’s now widely present in their legislative branch.

A clear improvement is an increased number of working class legislators, thanks to the NUPES leftist coalition, but even more so because of the National Rally. Still, just 6% of parliamentarians are from the working class.

Yaël Braun-Pivet was elected speaker, the first woman to hold the post and another relatively unknown politician from Macron’s party. France is the second to last country in the European Union to have a woman head a house of parliament.

By denying Macron a majority French parliament is poised to play a bigger role than at any time in the 21st century. However, they face an executive branch which has repeatedly found ways to sideline or bypass them.


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