Published: Wed, June 21, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

French far-right bars founder Jean-Marie Le Pen on birthday

French far-right bars founder Jean-Marie Le Pen on birthday

Stocks across Europe leapt Monday, with French shares rising by the most in more than a month after French President Emmanuel Macron's upstart party scored a majority in parliamentary elections on Sunday.

Macron's fledgling "neither right nor left" political movement, La Republique en Marche (La REM), and its smaller centrist ally Democratic Movement (MoDem) needed 289 seats to have an absolute majority.

Macron's confident start at home, where he has concentrated on trying to restore the lost prestige of the president, and his bold action on the worldwide stage has inspired a raft of positive headlines.

The new parliament, which holds its first session next week, will look very different: 75% of its MPs have not previously occupied a seat in the assembly, their average age has fallen seven years to 48, and a record number - 223, or 38.7% - are women.

"A year ago, no-one would have imagined such a political renewal", France Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said. Only a few weeks ago it was predicted that the FN could win as many as 40 seats on the back of Le Pen reaching the second round of the presidential election, but internal divisions within the party have surfaced in the last month, and the failure of Le Pen's vice-president, Florian Philippot, to win a seat in parliament will be welcomed by many within the FN. He denies any wrongdoing.

His La République en Marche [LREM] party won an estimated 359 of the 577 seats in the National Assembly, some way short of predictions last week that forecast his fledging party could finish with as many as 450.

He wants a leadership role in countering the kind of nationalism that far-right leader Le Pen represents, which spurred the Brexit vote and helped propel US President Donald Trump to the US presidency.

"Massive abstention considerably weakens the legitimacy of the new National Assembly and this five-year presidency starts with pretty bad foundations", said National Front leader, Marine Le Pen.

Halep and Ostapenko to meet in Roland Garros final
Pliskova would cut the deficit to 4-3 only to blaze a forehand long, leaving Halep to serve out the match after two hours. I have the mentality to win, but it's going to be tough. "I am really happy", said Ostapenko after her win on the clay.

The far-right leader Marine Le Pen did win her first-ever parliamentary seat in the Pas-de-Calais district, after two failed attempts in 2007 and 2012.

Three pollsters projected turnout to be at 42-43 percent at the close of polling, a record low in the post-war Fifth Republic.

Philippe and his government were set to resign later in the day or on Tuesday and form a new cabinet, which spokesman Castaner said he believed would again be led by Philippe.

The conservative Republicans and their allies are the main opposition group in parliament, winning 136 seats.

The party of Macron's predecessor Francois Hollande shed more than 250 seats, obtaining just 30.

Melenchon's hard-left France Unbowed won 17 seats as it also struggled to maintain the momentum it had during the presidential election.

Around half of the candidates for Macron's new centrist party are virtual unknowns drawn from diverse fields of academia, business or local activism.

After Macron vigorously campaigned on a promise of renewal of the political landscape, other parties also made efforts to promote new faces.

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