Turmoil follows French election result
Rising political star deals fresh blow to the far right
Marine Le Pen suffered a new jolt to the party on Wednesday as her niece, France’s youngest lawmaker and an icon of the far right, announced she plans to leave politics.
The decision by Marion Marechal-Le Pen, who represents the party’s conservative flank and core values, kicks one more block from under the party, which is looking to remake itself and even change its name.
That job won’t be done in time for next month’s elections for parliament — where the National Front desperately needs a good showing.
Emmanuel Macron, an upstart centrist and the youngest man elected to the presidency, was the victor in Sunday’s presidential election.
France’s constitutional Council on Wednesday announced the official results from the presidential runoff — 20,743,128 votes were cast for Macron and 10,638475 for Le Pen. The abstention rate was 25.4 per cent.
Marine Le Pen took comfort with the number of votes she won, which were a historic high for her party but about half of Macron’s total. She declared
the National Front would be the main opposition to Macron’s Republic On the Move.
With a handshake and a “Mr. President” to his successor, Francois Hollande — chief of state until Sunday — signalled the start of a new era in French politics where the new power brokers have all but wiped away politics as usual in favour of movements still in the making
— Macron’s and Le Pen’s. Both say they are “neither left nor right.”
On the far left, the Communist Party and the party of defeated presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon are messily divorcing. They campaigned together for Melenchon’s presidential run that saw him surge late in the campaign and get nearly 20 per cent of the first-round vote,
narrowly missing a place in the runoff. But they appear increasingly likely to field candidates separately in the legislative voting.
Hollande’s Socialist Party, with a majority in the outgoing parliament, is tumbling into disarray. And the mainstream right is torn between wanting to work with Macron or clip the new president’s wings.
French President-elect Emmanuel Macron poses with supporters after a ceremony commemorating the abolition of slavery, in Paris, Wednesday.