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Macron's party wins majority in parliamentary election runoff

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron's the Republic on the Move (LREM) party on Sunday won a huge majority in the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament in a second and final round of legislative competition.
The election result cleared the way for France's youngest top official to control the country's political power over the five-year term, partial exit poll showed.
"French voters have in their vast majority preferred hope to anger, optimism to pessimism, confidence to withdrawal," said Ediuard Philippe, Prime Minister.
"A year ago, no one would have imagined political renewal like this. We owe it to the drive of the president of the republic to give new life to democracy. We owe it, too, to the French people, who wanted to give the national representation a new face," he added.
Based on partial vote count made by Kantar Sofres-onepoint pollster, the LREM alone won 315 seats, more than 289 seats needed for a majority in the 577-member National Assembly.
With its allies from MoDem centrist party, it is represented by 360 lawmakers, sparing the need to rely on other movements to pass legislation on labor codes, cut public expenditure by billions of euros, raise taxes on consumption and wealthy pensioners and invest more in training and innovative sectors.
On the right, the conservatives won 133 seats, making it the biggest opposition party. However, the Republicans would not pose any threat to Macron's governance.
In a punishment vote due to poor achievements, the outgoing ruling the Socialist Party, lost its lead with only 32 seats.
"Tonight, the collapse of the Socialist Party is undeniable, the president of the Republic has all the powers," Jean-Christophe Cambadelis said after announcing he would step down as party chief.
Winning her first seat, Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front, made her entry for the first time to the National Assembly after gaining the race in Pas-de-Calais constituency.
Compared to 2012 election, the anti-immigration party improved its performance after snatching six seats compared to two currently, to represent "the only force of resistance to the dilution of France, its social model and identity," according to Le Pen.
Exit polls showed hard-left "France Unbowed" to secure 17 seats, paving the way for the party to form an "offensive" parliamentary group "that will call when the time comes, to a social resistance," his leader Jean-Luc Melenchon said.
With a huge majority for his one-year-old party, the 39-year-old president dealt a fresh blow to the traditional major parties, by redrawing the lower house of parliament with the help by unprecedented profiles of novice faces, half of them had never held an elected office.
However, a projected historic low turnout likely to cloud Macron's triumph to have a free hand to put on the ground his recipe for the eurozone second main powerhouse.
According to opinion polls, abstention which swung between 15 percent and 30 percent over the four past decades, would be over 50 percent on Sunday runoff, a further sign for Macron that his stay at the Elysee Palace won't be totally rosy.
To Christophe Castaner, the government spokesperson, the French disinterest "is as an additional responsibility and it will allow Emmanuel Macron, Edouard Philippe to never forget that deep down there is no victory tonight and the real victory will be in five years when things will really have changed."
"Voters ... did not want to give a blank check (to Macron camp)," he added. (PNA)
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Last Modified: 2017-Aug-17 03.20.25 UTC+0800