In a nationally televised address, Macron proposed “legislation in a different way” based on deals between different political forces.
French President Emmanuel Macron has suffered a major political blow three days after his party lost its parliamentary majority three days after proposing “legislation in different ways” based on a compromise between different political forces.
Macron made a nationally televised address on Wednesday after two days of back-to-back meetings with rival party leaders to show he was open to dialogue.
But these rivals appear staunchly against Macron and in no rush to work with him. Macron was re-elected to the presidency in April.
“We must collectively learn to govern and legislate differently,” Macron said, proposing “some new compromises with the political movements that form the new parliament. It shouldn’t mean [political] pause. It must mean a deal.”
This is his first public comment after centrist Together! The coalition won the most seats, with 245, but is still 44 behind in France’s most powerful parliament. His government retains the ability to rule, but only through bargaining with lawmakers.
The main opposition is the left-wing Nupes coalition, founded by far-left agitator Jean-Luc Melenchon, with 131 seats.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen solemnly entered the National Assembly on Wednesday with dozens of lawmakers from her National Rally party, which won a historic 89 seats.
Such a political situation is highly unusual in France.
Macron said the composition of the National Assembly echoed “the divisions and deep divisions of our country”.
“I believe it is possible … to find a wider and clearer majority to act on,” he said.
He then laid out a series of measures contained in his own political platform, indicating that he did not intend to fundamentally change his policy. His campaign promises included measures to boost purchasing power, cut taxes and raise the minimum retirement age from 62 to 65.
Macron urged political parties to say within the next two days whether they were ready to form a government coalition or commit to voting on a case-by-case basis.
Leaders of key parties including the left-wing coalition, conservatives and the far right have said a government coalition is not an option.
Macron has ruled out the idea of a “national coalition” that includes all political forces in the government because “it has not made sense so far”.
Mélenchon immediately brushed aside his speech, describing it as “ratatouille” and calling on Prime Minister Elisabeth Bohn, who Macron did not mention, to come up with the government’s roadmap for a parliamentary vote.
“Beyond that, there is no other reality: the executive branch is weak, the National Assembly is strong,” Mélenchon said.
An Elabe poll released Wednesday found 44 percent of French support the idea of item-by-item negotiations. Fewer than 20 percent want a coalition or national unity government, as Macron has suggested to some party leaders over the past few days.
The president retains control over foreign policy.Macron heads to a series of global summits on Thursday, expected to focus on ukraine war.