Center-right Republicans announce electoral pact with National Rally as the French Right unites to pile pressure on Macron

The Right is uniting in France in an attempt to take down Macron's government

FILE - Les Républicains President Eric Ciotti speaks during a campaign rally, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022 in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
By Thomas Brooke
4 Min Read

A unification of right-wing parties in France has emerged, intent on securing a parliamentary majority in the forthcoming elections and toppling President Emmanuel Macron.

After National Rally (RN), the party of Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella, stormed to victory in Sunday’s European elections with almost a third of all votes, President Macron announced the dissolution of France’s National Assembly and called a snap election.

The decision sounded the alarm among both the left and right-wing factions in France, both of whom have understood the need to form alliances to effect change.

The nationalist party of Reconquête got to work on Monday as its lead candidate in the European elections, Marion Maréchal, met with her auntie Marine Le Pen and Bardella to discuss an electoral pact.

This was followed on Tuesday by the news that the center-right Les Républicains (LR) led by Éric Ciotti will form an alliance with RN in an attempt to form a center-right to right-wing government.

“We need an alliance, we are doing it, an alliance with the National Rally, with its candidates. All outgoing Republican deputies who wish not to have an opponent from the RN will not have a competitor,” Ciotti announced.

The LR president explained that on many social issues, his party and RN “say the same thing, so let’s stop making artificial oppositions.

“We love France, we believe in authority. The challenge is to straighten out the country,” he added, admitting that his party has failed to resonate with French voters and “break through the sound barrier” and therefore an alliance is the only option to ensure a level of influence on the country’s direction of travel.

French mainstream media outlets reported the decision had infuriated some lawmakers within his own party who believe it should not align itself with Le Pen and Bardella. However, Ciotti dismissed these concerns in an interview with TF1, insisting he had received numerous messages of support since the announcement and confirming there “is absolutely no question of me resigning.”

Bardella took to social media to hail the alliance, praising Ciotti for putting country before party.

“Let us join forces to fight against migratory chaos, restore authority and order, and support the purchasing power of the French. Unity makes France,” he wrote on X.

The French establishment was incensed by the announcement with incumbent Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin accusing Ciotti of “signing the Munich Accords” by kneeling down to Le Pen. The inflammatory remark refers to the appeasement agreement between Nazi Germany and the Allies, which sanctioned the annexation of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia in 1938.

In an interview with Le Figaro newspaper on Tuesday, President Macron dismissed the suggestion of offering his resignation should a right-wing majority in Parliament result in a conservative government.

“The institutions are clear, the place of the president, whatever the result is also clear. It’s an intangible for me,” he said.

The current French leader urged the press not to look at the “scores by constituency in terms of the European elections,” insisting the snap election could result in a very different outcome.

“The decision I took opens a new era,” he added.

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