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'New Popular Front is ready to govern,' says victorious Mélenchon

Far-left La France Insoumise - LFI - (France Unbowed) founder Jean-Luc Melenchon delivers a speech at the party election night headquarters, Sunday, July 7, 2024 in Paris.
Far-left La France Insoumise - LFI - (France Unbowed) founder Jean-Luc Melenchon delivers a speech at the party election night headquarters, Sunday, July 7, 2024 in Paris. Copyright Thomas Padilla/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Thomas Padilla/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Eleanor Butler
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Mélenchon addresses the nation after what he dubbed an "impossible" election victory.

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France's snap legislative elections, which came to a close on Sunday evening, have been a political rollercoaster.

After a predicted victory for France’s far-right, Leftists emerged victorious on Sunday night, beating rivals for the largest share of the legislative vote.

France's left-wing New Popular Front coalition, headed by firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon, is expected to win 172 to 192 seats, according to an early Ipsos poll for France TV.

That’s ahead of the 150 to 170 seats predicted for Ensemble, led by incumbent President Emmanuel Macron. Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally is set to win 132 to 152 seats.

Following the release of the results, Mélenchon addressed an emotional crowd in Paris.

"With this vote, the majority has made a different choice for the country. The will of the people must henceforth be strictly respected," he said.

"The defeat of the president of the Republic and his coalition is clearly confirmed. The president must bow to this defeat and admit it without attempting to avoid it by any means whatsoever."

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, Mélenchon continued, has never managed to garner support in the National Assembly. "The prime minister must go," he insisted.

Given Ensemble’s defeat, President Macron is expected to find a replacement for Attal, who has only been in post since January.

This is a convention rather than a necessity, and Attal has already announced that he will step down tomorrow.

"The New Front Popular is ready to govern," said Mélenchon.

He noted that "as early as this summer," decrees can be issued to repeal Macron’s pension reform, increase the minimum wage, and call for more pay negotiations, among other projects.

On Macron’s Ensemble, he said: “We refuse to enter into negotiations with his party to make compromises, especially after having fought against his failures for seven years."

Video editor • Ines Trindade Pereira

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