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After heavy defeat in EU vote, French President Macron announces snap parliamentary elections on June 30

French President Emmanuel Macron (Source: Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron has dissolved the country’s parliament, as well as the National Assembly, calling for snap elections after exit polls showcased his party’s heavy loss in European parliamentary elections on Sunday, according to CNN.

Preliminary estimates showed that the far-right National Rally (RN) party won 31.5 per cent of the vote, more than double the share of Macron’s Renaissance Party, which barely managed to secure second place with 15.2 per cent of the vote, ahead of the Socialists in third place with 14.3 per cent.

The leader of the RN, Jordan Bardella, called on Macron to dissolve the French parliament in a celebratory speech following the release of the exit poll.

“This unprecedented defeat for the current government marks the end of a cycle, and Day 1 of the post-Macron era,” Bardella said, according to CNN.

Meanwhile, Macron announced in an hour-long national address that he will dissolve the lower house of parliament in France and organise parliamentary elections. According to Macron, there will be two rounds: the first on June 30 and the second on July 7.

“I have decided to give you back the choice of your parliamentary future by voting. I am therefore dissolving the National Assembly this evening,” Macron said in an announcement on Sunday.

“This decision is serious, heavy. But it is, above all, an act of trust. Trust in you, my dear compatriots. In the capacity of the French people to make the most just decision,” the French President said.

Parliamentary elections are used in the French system to choose the 577 members of the National Assembly, the lower house.

The country’s president is chosen through separate elections that aren’t expected to take place again until 2027.

The Ensemble coalition, which included Macron’s Renaissance party, was unable to secure an outright majority in the legislative elections held in 2022 and was obliged to look for outside assistance.

The EU elections represent the world’s second-largest democratic exercise, trailing only behind India’s elections in terms of scale. With almost 400 million voters across the EU, the electorate will select 720 members of the European Parliament, spanning from the Arctic circle to the borders of Africa and Asia.

The outcome of these elections will shape policies on global issues ranging from climate change and defence to migration and international relations with major players like China and the United States.