French PM urges united front to stop far-right takeover

France’s prime minister on Wednesday urged voters to form a united front to block the far-right in legislative elections, warning the anti-immigration party of Marine Le Pen was the only faction capable of winning an absolute majority.

With four days to go until the second round in the polls, France’s political future remains up in the air as the far-right National Rally (RN) Party seeks to take control of government for the first time.

The RN dominated the first round of polls, presenting the Party of Le Pen with the prospect of forming a government and her protege Jordan Bardella, 28, taking the post of premier in a tense “cohabitation” with President Emmanuel Macron.

But more than 200 candidates from the left and the centre this week dropped out of three-way races in the second round of the contest, aiming to prevent the RN winning the seat.

While the formation of this so-called “Republican Front” seems to have generally been a success for the government, the key question now is whether voters themselves will respond to the pleas to block the RN.

“There is one bloc that is able to have an absolute majority [in the national assembly] and it’s the extreme right,” Attal told France Inter radio.

“On Sunday evening, what’s at stake in the second round is to do everything so that the extreme right does not have an absolute majority,” he said.

“It’s not nice for many French to have to block [the RN]… by casting a vote they did not want to,” he added.

But “it’s our responsibility to do this”.

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