Wanted: diverse National Assembly to counter domination of the presidency


Through the havoc it wreaked on the established political system, the recent French presidential election showed the hunger that exists for democratic renewal. But if the Parliamentary elections later this month give Emmanuel Macron's government an absolute majority it would be a retrograde step to presidential supremacy and a compliant Parliament, argues Mediapart’s publishing editor and co-founder Edwy Plenel. That is why, he says, we need a pluralist National Assembly encompassing a diverse, democratic, social and environmental opposition.

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Emmanuel Macron is a minority president, having won the second round of the election thanks to a tactical or principled vote to keep out the far right. Now, through the leveraging effect of a Parliamentary election system in France that is both unfair and archaic, and which helps presidential government suppress pluralistic politics, he wants not just a majority but political domination after the two rounds of voting in the legislative elections on June 11th and June 18th. If he achieves his aim, for which his prime minister Édouard Philippe from the Alain Juppé wing of the French Right is actively campaigning, it would be bad news for French democracy and all those citizens who want to see it reinvigorated. That includes those who want to give the new government a chance.