‘He won’t be Prime Minister!’ Le Pen ally laughs off far-left Mélenchon’s bid to power

France: Mélenchon ‘won’t be PM’ says Chenu

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After narrowly losing to Marine Le Pen in the first round of the French presidential election, Jean-Luc Mélenchon called on his voters to elect him Prime Minister in the upcoming legislative elections. If his France Unbowed party wins enough seats, Mr Mélenchon could force the re-elected President Emmanuel Macron to form a coalition with his party – and potentially appoint him Prime Minister. To Marine Le Pen’s spokesperson, Mr Mélenchon’s attempt at clinging to power is laughable. Sébastien Chenu laughed it off on French radio station RTL: “No one, sincerely, thinks that Jean-Luc Mélenchon will be Prime Minister after the legislative elections.

“It’s a communication effect so that Jean-Luc Mélenchon continues to exist. He doesn’t want to leave the scene, we understand that.

“He himself (thinks) he is the centre of his world.”

Far-left Mélenchon lost the first round to Marine Le Pen by a single percentage point.

Votes were counted until the early hours of the morning, as the gap between the two candidates closed in. Eventually, Ms Le Pen prevailed to Mr Mélenchon’s dismay who didn’t ask for a recount.

Mr Chenu continued: “Mr Mélenchon, he got Emmanuel Macron elected. So, he is in a permanent ambiguity.” 

According to political analysts, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s 21.95 percent of voters were key to the second round as they had the potential of swinging the election one way or another – for either Mr Macron or Ms Le Pen.

Mr Mélenchon explicitly called on his voters not to vote for Le Pen in the second round.

Emmanuel Macron got re-elected with 58.6 percent of the votes against 41.4 percent for Marine Le Pen who is losing her third bid for the presidency.

But this time around, Marine Le Pen has made significant gains. In 2017, she lost with 33.9 percent of the votes.

This smaller margin between President Macron and Ms Le Pen could spell trouble for Emmanuel Macron ahead of the June legislative elections. 

Opposition parties, including Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN), are trying to form coalitions, and hoping to gain enough seats in parliament to either obstruct Macron’s second term or govern with him.

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“We (RN) tell ourselves that we are capable of opening up (to other parties), of bringing people together”, Mr Chenu added.

He strongly believes Le Pen’s National Rally has the potential to “embody the opposition that the French wanted in the second round of the presidential election.”

French voters will head to the polls again on 12 and 19 June to elect 577 MPs.

In the last legislative election, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally only won eight seats while Macron’s coalition got a majority of 351 seats. Jean Luc Mélenchon’s party won 17 seats.

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