France begins second round of parliamentary election

19 June, 2017, 00:22 | Author: Priscilla Morrison

The move comes two weeks after President Emmanuel Macron criticised his USA counterpart Donald Trump for pulling out of the UN's Paris climate agreement - calling on United States climate scientists and entrepreneurs to "come and work in France on concrete solutions for climate".

(AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File).

French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with supporters as he leaves city hall, after casting his ballot in the second round of the parliamentary election, in Le Touquet, France June 18, 2017.

Many opposition leaders have stressed the danger of Macron facing little opposition or scrutiny from parliament under a constitution that confers huge powers to the president.

Two polls showed Macron's centrist Republic on the Move (LREM) party and Modem ally winning between 355 and 360 seats in the 577-seat chamber. They were set to snatch between 430-460 seats, where the minimal number needed for taking an absolute majority is 289.

Many candidates in his party joined only after Macron won the presidency in May. Four seats were won outright in last Sunday's first round.

The party of Melenchon, a candidate in a Marseille district facing off a Macron candidate, was also hit hard by the low turnout rate.

Participation in the main metropolitan areas stood at 17.75 percent as of midday Sunday, down from 21.41 percent in 2012 and 22.89 percent in 2007, the ministry said.

It is the second-round of the election featuring run-off contests between the top candidates after the first round held last Sunday.

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The vote on Sunday will cap a presidential and parliamentary election sequence which started in November a year ago with a primary to pick the candidate of the right-wing Republicans party.

He said one of the key measures would aim at preventing the incitement of "hate and terrorism" on the internet.

"We are the only force of resistance to the dilution of France, its social model and identity", Le Pen said in a televised address in her northern fiefdom of Henin-Beaumont.

Six ministers in Macron's government are seeking parliamentary seats, a common practice in France, and risk their government jobs if they lose.

They predicted the conservative Republicans and their allies would form the largest opposition bloc with 125-131 seats, while the Socialist Party, in power for the last five years, and its partners would secure 41-49 seats, their lowest ever in the postwar Fifth Republic.

Polls show Macron is on course to win the biggest parliamentary majority since de Gaulle's own conservatives in 1968. "We're going to find ourselves with fewer opposition representatives than there are in Russian Federation".

The victory for LREM, which was launched by Macron less than a year ago, is considered a slap to mainstream parties.

Parisian voter Olivier Palate said the success of Macron's party was like a "tidal wave".

"I don't think we'll see a coalition this time but in the past it was a situation that worked".

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