French President Emmanuel Macron Warns Civil War

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that the far-right National Rally (RN) party as well as the left-wing New Popular Front coalition, both front-runners in the parliamentary election, risk bringing “civil war” to the country, The Guardian has reported.

Macron’s comments come as the country heads for snap polls announced by the president after his centrist party’s significant defeat by Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) in the European Union vote earlier this month. According to AFP, weekend polls suggested the RN and its allies would win 35-36% of the vote in the first round on Sunday, ahead of 27-29.5% for the New Popular Front. The polls claim Macron’s centrists will come third with 19.5-22% of the vote. 

The second round of the election will take place on July 7 in constituencies where no candidate receives more than 50% in the first round. 

While speaking on the podcast ‘Generation Do It Yourself’, Macron criticised the RN and the hard-left France Unbowed Party, which is part of the New Popular Front alliance, for what he described as their divisive politcies. 

“I think that the solutions given by the far right are out of the question because it is categorising people in terms of their religion or origins and that is why it leads to division and to civil war,” he told the podcast, as quoted by The Guardian. 

Macron’s comments were broadcast after RN released their manifesto, which pledged to restrict immigration and revoke nationality rights of children who were born and raised in France by foreign parents.

About France Unbowed, The Guardian quoted Macron as saying “…that one as well, there is a civil war behind that because you are solely categorising people in terms of their religious outlook or the community they belong to, which in a way is a means of justifying isolating them from the broader national community, and in this case, you would have a civil war with those who do not share those same values”.

Far-right leader Jordan Bardella, who is pegged to be the PM in the event of the RN’s victory, told French news outlet M6 that the president should not say that and reaffirmed security for all French people.

On Monday, Bardella said his party was ready to govern, and pledged to curb immigration and tackle cost-of-living issues.

France Unbowed leader Jean-Luc Melenchon also criticised Macron during a television interview, and said the French president’s own policies were bringing civil unrest, giving the example of the French overseas territory of New Caledonia.

“Seven long years of Macronism have weakened the country,” Bardella was quoted as saying by AFP. He vowed to boost purchasing power, “restore order” and change the law to make it easier to deport foreigners convicted of crimes.

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