French opposition parties prepare for turbulent times

French opposition parties prepare for turbulent times
By Tokunbo Salako
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France's parliamentary election results reveal deep splits over strategy across opposition parties


One battle ends, another begins.

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.

“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.

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.

“The left’s defeat is unavoidable, the rout of the Socialist Party is irrevocable,” he said.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, the leader of the far-left France Unbowed (La France Insoumise) warned he’s ready for more scraps.

“(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.”

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

#Marine Le Pen, who opposes #Euro/#Schengen Zone, has been elected to #French National Assembly in Constituency 11, Pas-de-#Calais. #France

— PeterThompsonLondon (@BrexitLondon) June 18, 2017

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.

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