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Macron denies resignation rumors

The French president has called a snap election after defeat in the EU vote

French President Emmanuel Macron has no intention of resigning if the snap election does not go in his favor, the Elysee Palace said on Tuesday.

Macron dissolved the National Assembly on Sunday, as exit polls showed the opposition National Rally (RN) winning twice as many votes for the European Parliament as the coalition led by his Renaissance party. Paris was quickly gripped by rumors that he might resign if RN wins the national vote.

“I’m in it to win,” Macron told Le Figaro Magazine in an interview published on Tuesday, adding that the French constitution is clear about the president’s mandate, “no matter the result.”

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin seemed to fuel the rumors in a TF1 interview on Monday evening, describing Macron’s decision to call the snap election as “a Gaullist act.” Charles de Gaulle had resigned as president in 1969, after losing a referendum on government reform.

On Tuesday morning, the outlet Europe1 claimed that Macron had “discussed the possibility” of stepping down over the past several weeks, even before he called a snap election. The Elysee Palace then issued an official denial.

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Macron’s interview with Le Figaro came a day after the outlet’s editor-in-chief Alexis Brezet suggested that “Macronism is collapsing” and criticized the president’s decision to campaign on the Ukraine conflict instead of issues the French voters actually cared about.

Brezet was doubtful of Macron’s chances to maintain a parliamentary majority, noting that RN’s success was not accidental, but the result of anger over uncontrolled immigration. 

One of Macron’s strategists has told Politico EU that “the way to regain the majority is through raising awareness,” suggesting that the president’s campaign would focus on the perils of the “far right.”

Brezet, however, believes that Macron’s efforts will work against him, noting that “anti-Macronism is the most widely shared passion in France.” He called Macron’s decision to call a snap election “a leap into the unknown, with incalculable consequences.”

France is scheduled to go to the polls on June 30, with a second round set for July 7, just weeks before the start of the Paris Olympics.

 

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