PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday called for “responsibility and cooperation” from other political parties in his first speech since losing an absolute majority in parliament, suggesting it might be possible to build a peace accord. coalition to pass legislation.
“As in most Western democracies, be it Germany, Italy or many others, no political force can make the laws today,” Macron said in a televised address. “We must collectively learn to govern and regulate differently.”
In the second round of legislative elections last Sunday, Macron’s centrist coalition came out on top but only won 246 of the 289 seats needed to maintain its absolute parliamentary majority, while far-left and extreme right have gained ground. That portends trouble for Macron’s reform plans, just two months after winning a second term as president.
Macron said he regretted the low turnout, with more than one in two voters choosing not to vote in the second round, as well as the “fractures, the deep divisions that run through our country and are reflected in the composition of the new Assembly.
The president said his allies in parliament must now try to “grow, either by striking a coalition deal or by creating text-by-text majorities”. He also said he still intends to press ahead with his planned reforms “to keep creating more wealth, more work and more innovation.”
Macron also called for creating “new compromises based on dialogue, listening and respect” and urged other political groups to indicate “to what extent they are ready to cooperate”.
“I have believed in the need to go beyond politics from day one,” he said. “I know this fulfills the aspiration of many of you to get out of political wrangling.”
His political adversaries were quick to react. Adrien Quatennens, coordinator of the radical left France insoumise, tweeted: “Macron challenges the political groups: will you vote for my laws? We must return the question to him: and you, will you vote for the opposition bills?
Communist leader Fabien Roussel also tweeted: “Macron discovers the virtues of parliamentary debate and the true role of the National Assembly in 2022! We will judge him by his actions.