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French opposition parties prepare for turbulent times

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By Tokunbo Salako
French opposition parties prepare for turbulent times

<p>One battle ends, another begins.</p> <p>Francois Baroin, the leader of France’s conservative Republican party says there’s no time to lick their wounds over their electoral defeat as a better than expected showing means they’re still a force to be reckoned with. </p> <p>“Despite our elimination in the first round of the presidential elections, the intense campaign that we carried out, constituency by constituency, has allowed the creation of a sufficiently large group to make our voices heard, to assert our convictions, to defend our values,” he said at his party’s headquarters in Paris. </p> <p>Elsewhere, the rallying call for the Socialists was akin to a deafening silence as the party’s secretary, Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, announced he was stepping down minutes after the exit polls were released. </p> <p>“The left’s defeat is unavoidable, the rout of the Socialist Party is irrevocable,” he said.</p> <p>Jean-Luc Melenchon, the leader of the far-left France Unbowed (La France Insoumise) warned he’s ready for more scraps. </p> <p>“(Because of the abstention record) Our people have entered a form of massive general strike of civic duty in this election. I inform the new power that not one inch of the labour law foundation will be given up to them without a fight.”</p> <p>France’s Front National avoided worst-case scenarios by securing at least eight seats, including a first, after five attempts, for its leader Marine Le Pen after. She said the low voter turnout robbed Macron’s En marche of legitimacy </p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Marine?src=hash">#Marine</a> Le Pen, who opposes <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Euro?src=hash">#Euro</a>/<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Schengen?src=hash">#Schengen</a> Zone, has been elected to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/French?src=hash">#French</a> National Assembly in Constituency 11, Pas-de-<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Calais?src=hash">#Calais</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/France?src=hash">#France</a> <a href="https://t.co/vKqZRfjXXh">https://t.co/vKqZRfjXXh</a></p>— PeterThompsonLondon (@BrexitLondon) <a href="https://twitter.com/BrexitLondon/status/876585834065129472">June 18, 2017</a></blockquote><br /> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>But her party’s result falls well short of its objective, meaning it can’t form a parliamentary group so its voice in the lower house will be limited.</p>