France throws up cohabitation unfriendly to Modi

The electorate of France – a country which enlightened the world with the revolutionary motto of Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite or Liberty, Equality, Fraternity – have, in fact, thrown up a wide spectrum conundrum – in their sensual spin, a cohabitation within a cohabitation!

Not only will the political persuasions of Macron and a constitutionally fairly empowered incoming prime minister be quite contradictory. But within the parliament now elected, it will be a post-election grand alliance between differing pre-election alliances to reach the magic majority mark of 289 in a National Assembly of 577 lawmakers.

The indication from 544 actual results reported by the Financial Times was: the New Popular Front have won 179 seats, Macron’s centrist Ensemble party 157 seats and the Far Right National Rally 143 seats.

Previous cohabitations, rendered necessary by parliamentary majorities opposed to a sitting president, occurred in France in 1986 to 1988, 1993 to 1995 and 1997 to 2002. However, the presidents and prime ministers belonged to either the right-of-centre Republican Party or the Socialist Party, not to any alliance of parties. Both the Gaullists and Socialists are today diminished in strength. Therefore, the upcoming structure is envisaged to be more complicated, likely unstable.

The division of responsibilities in the French constitution entrusts the president to lead on foreign affairs. But if Melenchon is to be believed, there will be no rapprochement with Macron, which could mean a French foreign policy without unified endorsement within. To somewhat reflect that, the euro currency fell marginally against the US dollar.

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