France elections: Far-right threat thwarted in second round

France can breathe a sigh of relief as the far-right National Rally was defeated in the second round of the parliamentary elections, with an alliance between the Left alliance of the New Popular Front and Emmanuel Macron‘s centrists combining to block Marine Le Pen’s party.

After last week’s first round, in which the National Rally came out on top, everything indicated that Le Pen’s party would come to dominate French politics. Yet after an unexpected turnaround on Sunday, that worry appears to have been thwarted.

‘Tonight we celebrate. But we should not get carried away’

DiEM25 co-founder Yanis Varoufakis welcomed the news of Sunday’s elections, but warned that the battle is far from over in France.

“Vive la France, for its collective capacity to unite vs. fascists. Tonight we celebrate. But we should not get carried away: the fascists are, still, at the door. And, as the only solid opposition, they will benefit from the deep EU-French crisis before the Presidential election,” he wrote on X.

DiEM25 members had voted in favour of supporting the New Popular Front in the elections, as it was the most suitable alliance to combat the ever-growing far-right in the country.

The New Popular Front appears to be the only alliance committed to uniting the left-wing political parties as well as a broad coalition of trade union and civil society groups to halt the march towards fascism in France.

Its electoral programme outlines policies to reverse Macron’s attack on the social safety net in the Republic and end privileges for billionaires. It also aims to address climate issues and the democratic deficit in the country.

Now that they have won, it is crucial to remember that work needs to be continuously done to both prevent the growing threat of the far-right from expanding in popularity but also to call out so-called liberal leaders like Emmanuel Macron who have allowed such a possibility to manifest in the first place.

 

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