His speech was eagerly awaited. On Wednesday evening, Emmanuel Macron addressed the French for the first time in an eight-minute speech after his party alliance lost an absolute majority in the National Assembly in last Sunday’s parliamentary elections. The French President said there was a need “to learn how to govern and legislate differently” given the outcome.
As in most western democracies, “e.g. in Germany or Italy”, no political force can now pass laws alone in France, said the president. In view of the result, he called on all parties represented in Parliament to be willing to compromise.
“It will be necessary to work out compromises, improvements and changes, but this must be done in complete transparency,” Macron said. The will to unity and to act for the nation affects all political forces.
The President made it clear that he wanted to implement legislative projects and reforms with the opposition. It is possible “to find a broader and clearer majority to act,” he said. With the representatives of all parties elected to parliament, he assumed a responsibility and the desire to prevent a blockade of the country.
Macron and his party alliance “Ensemble” only got a relative majority in the parliamentary elections held on June 12 and 19. Such a political constellation has so far been unusual in France, in the past legislative periods there has always been a clear majority.
In his speech on Wednesday evening, Macron held the opposition parties responsible. He asked them to clarify in the next few days which form of cooperation would be possible for them.
Macron met with the leaders of all parties represented in Parliament on Tuesday and Wednesday. The possibilities of a cross-party “government of national unity” were also explored. However, most of the other parties rejected these – and he too did not consider them “justified,” said Macron on Wednesday evening.
In his speech, the President regretted the high proportion of non-voters. Less than every second eligible voter took part in the parliamentary vote. At the same time, Macron recalled that France had chosen a clear project with its re-election in April. He wants to continue to pursue its implementation, the country still urgently needs reforms.
Macron is in a difficult position after the general elections. In order to overcome them, two options are currently being discussed, which the President also named on Wednesday evening: “A coalition agreement or changing majorities.”
Macron’s party alliance could link up with another political force to secure an outright majority. Such an agreement seems most likely to be possible with the conservative “Républicains”. In the past few days, however, they have confirmed their rejection of such a government alliance. Another option for Macron and his government is to seek majorities, depending on the law.
In his speech, Macron said he saw it as his responsibility to implement the choices voters made and find answers “that are more tailored to people’s needs.”