Far-right leader Le Pen questions French president's role as army chief

Marine Le Pen, former president of France's far-right party National Rally and currently a French presidential candidate, on Thursday raised the question in an interview with a French newspaper of who would be in charge of the military if her party takes over the government after snap parliamentary elections starting Sunday, June 30.

The early elections are plunging France into uncharted territory, and political scientists are scrambling to interpret how exactly President Emmanuel Macron and a prime minister who is hostile to most of his policies would share power if Marine Le Pen's National Rally wins the majority in the National Assembly, France's lower house of parliament.

Le Pen has repeatedly said that Jordan Bardella, her protegee and her party's star leader, would lead France's next government if their increasingly popular party wins. She suggested in an interview that Bardella, at just 28 and with no governing experience, would also take over at least some decisions on France's defense and its armed forces. Macron has three years to serve out his final term as president.

On the issue of the country's military command, political historian Jean Garrigues said that “the president is the head of the armed forces, (but) it's the prime minister who has the armed forces at his disposal."


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