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France: Protests At Olympics If Macron Does Not Allow Left Alliance To Govern?

People gather at the Place de la Republique after partial results in the second round of the early French parliamentary elections, in Paris, France. The slogans read " Our Popular Front is anti-colonial and anti-racist! by all means necessary let us stop the rise of fascism to power" and "France, a mosaic of migration". REUTERS/Abdul Saboor

In France, a top trade union leader on Thursday urged President Emmanuel Macron to let a left-wing alliance govern after it came first in a legislative election, hinting that any alternative could be met with protests during the Paris Olympics.

In his first public comments since the New Popular Front (NFP) beat his own centrist camp into second place in Sunday’s election, Macron said on Wednesday that “no one had won” and asked “republican forces” to form a “solid majority” to govern.

That has been understood to mean he wants a coalition of centrists and moderate parties from the NFP, such as the Socialists and Greens, excluding the hard-left insurgent party France Unbowed which he deems beyond the respectable spectrum.

Sophie Binet, leader of the CGT union, said Macron was in denial about the result of the election and should appoint as prime minister whoever the NFP picks. Members of the alliance have been trying all week to agree on a name and a strategy to govern without a majority.

“Emmanuel Macron must snap out of his denialism. He has lost the election … He’s like Louis XVI holed up at Versailles. He must listen to the country and stop being so disconnected,” Binet said on LCI television.

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Macron’s comments have been met with howls of anger on the left, including from the railway workers’ branch of the CGT, which responded by calling for protests on July 18, the day when the newly elected parliament is scheduled to convene.

It said the protests should take place in front of prefectures, the seats of state authority all around the country, and in front of the National Assembly in Paris, to demand that the NFP form a government.

“Let’s not allow our victory to be stolen from us!,” its statement concluded.

Binet said “all of us should take part in these gatherings to keep the National Assembly under scrutiny and ensure that the people’s vote is respected,” hinting that protests could continue during the Olympics if Macron did not comply.