France’s Emmanuel Macron Calls for Compromise After Losing Majority in Parliament

PARIS—French President

Emmanuel Macron

said Wednesday he was ready to work with other parties to form a new coalition, after losing his majority in the French Parliament in elections this week.

The French leader said he was open to building an alliance with other political parties to form a new parliamentary majority. His party could also strike agreements with other political parties on individual bills.

“It is possible to find, in this crucial moment that we are living, a larger and clearer majority to be able to act,” Mr. Macron said in his first televised national address since the election on Sunday. He asked the leaders of France’s main opposition parties to lay out in the coming weeks the extent to which they are ready to cooperate with the government.

Mr. Macron was re-elected to the presidency in April by a double-digit margin, and candidates from the party of a newly elected president usually ride his coattails to office. But five years of pro-business policies under Mr. Macron, including loosening labor protections and cuts to employment benefits, have alienated many voters, particularly on the left.

Rising energy and food prices, partly fueled by the war in Ukraine, have also taken a political toll on Mr. Macron, who has often faced criticism that he is out of touch with the everyday hardships of working-class and middle-class French.

“I cannot ignore the fractures, the deep divisions affecting our country, that are reflected in our new assembly,” Mr. Macron said.

The leaders of France’s main opposition parties met with Mr. Macron before his televised address.


Bob Edme/Associated Press

Mr. Macron’s centrist party, recently renamed Renaissance, won the most seats in the 577-seat National Assembly but fell short of the 289 needed to form a majority. Renaissance and its allies garnered 245 seats.

The coalition led by far-left leader

Jean-Luc Mélenchon

—whose party forged an alliance with French socialists, communists and greens—won 131 seats.

Marine Le Pen’s

far-right National Rally got 89, while Les Républicains and its allies won 61 seats.

The leaders of France’s main opposition parties, who met with Mr. Macron this week, appeared determined to remain in opposition to the French leader. On Tuesday, Christian Jacob, the president of Les Républicains, ruled out entering into any kind of alliance with Mr. Macron, while Olivier Faure, the leader of the Socialist Party, said the French president will have to learn to confront other people’s ideas.

The first bill on the National Assembly’s table will be emergency measures aimed at responding to the loss of purchasing power for many French. French inflation is at the highest level since the 1990s, with the war in Ukraine sending food and fuel prices higher.

Mr. Macron wants to increase civil servants’ salaries, index pensions to inflation and allow companies to pay tax-free bonuses of up to €6,000, equivalent to $6,313, to its employees. He also plans to offer checks to low-income households to buy food and help pay the fuel bills of people who need to drive to work.

Mr. Macron said he also plans to quickly propose new measures to tackle unemployment, climate change and a crisis in France’s healthcare system.

“It will be necessary to build, as I explained, compromises, amendments, but to do so in a completely transparent manner,” Mr. Macron said.

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