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President Emmanuel Macron loses absolute majority in French Assembly

By
Don Jacobson
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during the Fifth World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem on January 23. Macron's LREM Party lost its absolute majority in the French National Assembly on Tuesday. File Photo by Abir Sultan/UPI
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during the Fifth World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem on January 23. Macron's LREM Party lost its absolute majority in the French National Assembly on Tuesday. File Photo by Abir Sultan/UPI | License Photo

May 19 (UPI) -- French President Emmanuel Macron's ruling La Republique en Marche party lost is absolute majority in the National Assembly on Tuesday with the official creation of new left-wing grouping.

The new party, called Ecology, Democracy, Solidarity, was announced by its co-president, Matthieu Orphelin. Its membership includes 17 members of the Assembly -- the lower house of the French Parliament.

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EDS' roster includes seven lawmakers who bolted from Macron's LREM party. The defections reduced its ranks in the Assembly to 288, just below the threshold of an absolute majority of 289 seats.

Even so, Macron can still rely on a decisive majority due to the LREM's alliance with 46 members of the Democratic Movement Party and the 10 members of the Agir Party.

LREM could quickly regain the absolute majority if the future replacement of Olivier Gaillard, who is leaving the Assembly to become a local mayor, joins the ranks of Macron's party.

Some French political observers regarded Macron's loss of an absolute majority as inevitable. He has been steadily losing support among lawmakers since 2017, when his majority stood at 313 seats.

"This will impact the unifying image of Emmanuel Macron as he seeks to show leadership" during the coronavirus pandemic, political scientist Bruno Cautres told the French newspaper Le Parisien.

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