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Macron calls on moderates to unite against far right in snap legislative election

Macron addressed French voters for the first time since he called for a snap national election following the far right’s crushing defeat of his party in the European parliamentary vote on Sunday.

French President Emmanuel Macron called Wednesday for moderate politicians from the left and the right to regroup to defeat the far right in general elections.

Macron, the leader of the centrist Rennaisance party, said he wants “men and women of goodwill who were able to say ‘no’ to extremes to join together to be able to build a joint project” for the country.

Macron is addressing French voters for the first time since he called for a snap national election following the far right’s crushing defeat of his party in the European parliamentary vote.

His address was meant to mainly explain the president’s shocking decision to dissolve the National Assembly, France’s lower house of parliament — a move that triggered an early legislative election set to take place three weeks after the far-right National Rally party of Marine Le Pen triumphed at the election for the European Union Parliament.

Macron said he decided to call an early vote because he could not ignore the new political reality after his pro-European party was handed a chastening defeat and garnered less than half the support of the National Rally with its rising star leader, Jordan Bardella.

‘Things are not simple today’

The French president, who has three years left of his second term, hopes voters will band together to contain the far right in national elections in a way they didn’t in European ones.

“Things are simple today: we have unnatural alliances at both extremes, who quite agree on nothing except the jobs to be shared, and who will not be able to implement any program,” Macron said during an opening address at a press conference in Paris.

Sunday’s decision to dissolve parliament and again send to the polls voters who had just expressed their discontent with Macron’s politics to the polls was a risky move in hopes that voters would band together, but it could still result in the French far-right leading a government for the first time since World War II.

Potential alliances and France’s two-round voting system in national elections make the outcome of the vote highly uncertain.

While sharp differences between parties remain on either side of the political spectrum, prominent figures calling for a united front appear to have one thing in common: They don’t want to cooperate with Macron.

Despite their divisions, left-wing parties agreed late Monday to form an alliance that includes the Greens, the Socialists, the Communists and the far-left France Unbowed of Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

National Rally leader Marine Le Pen is working to consolidate power on the right in efforts to translate the European triumph into a national win and come closer to claiming power.

The far-right party with a history of racism and xenophobia is expected to win the most French seats in the European Parliament — potentially as many as 30 out of France’s total 81.

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