France's Republican leader wants to form an “alliance” with Le Pen's NR | Elections News


Republican Party President Eric Ciotti is calling for a nationwide alliance to be formed with Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally party in the upcoming elections.

The president of France's conservative Republicans party, Eric Ciotti, has called for a nationwide alliance between his party's candidates and Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally (RN) party in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

“We say the same things, so let's stop inventing an imaginary opposition,” Ciotti told TF1 television on Tuesday.

The announcement is the first time in modern French political history that a traditional party leader has endorsed an alliance with the far-right National Rally (RN).

President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday called elections for June 30, with a second round on July 7, in a major gamble after RN won more than twice as many votes as its centrist alliance in the EU elections.

Ciotti spoke to RN party leaders Le Pen and Jordan Bardella before announcing the move, which he said was aimed at ensuring the Republicans (LR) can win enough seats to continue forming a parliamentary group.

“We need some kind of partnership and that's what I offer,” Ciotti said. And he added: “This is what the vast majority of voters want.”

Le Pen praised Ciotti's “brave choice” and “sense of responsibility,” and said she hoped a significant number of LR figures would follow him.

Ciotti's call, which comes from the most conservative branch of LR, can open a gap in the party. More centrist members of the party have already said they would not tolerate such a move.

Olivier Marleix, head of LR in the lower house of parliament, said he would not support “any agreement” with a far-right movement.

Marleix demanded Ciotti's resignation.

The National Rally is widely expected to emerge as the strongest force after snap elections starting in three weeks, although the party may not achieve an absolute majority.

Macron's office delayed a major news conference initially scheduled for Tuesday afternoon until Wednesday, while insisting that the nationwide vote would put the French people to choose between “republican forces on the one hand and extremist forces on the other.” the other”.

Macron told Figaro magazine that he ruled out resigning, “whatever the result” of the early elections.

Macron scoffed at a question about whether he was “crazy” for dissolving parliament and calling elections at such short notice.

“I'm just thinking about France. “It was the right decision, in the interest of the country,” he said, adding that he was willing to debate Le Pen face to face.

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