Macron says France ready for 'radically new path'

Macron says France ready for 'radically new path'

Versailles (France) (AFP) - French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday that the country was ready to embark on a "radically new path" after presidential and parliamentary elections swept him and his new centrist party into power.

"Until now, we were on the wrong track," Macron said in a solemn address to both houses of parliament gathered at the Palace of Versailles.

The 39-year-old French leader, elected in May, laid out a series of proposals including a new law that will reduce the number of lawmakers in both houses of parliament by one third.

He also proposed that the electoral system be changed to allow more proportional representation "so that all tendencies are fairly represented (in parliament)".

Macron said he wanted all the "deep transformations... that our institutions badly need" to be completed within a year.

"I want... us to avoid half-measures and cosmetic arrangements," he said. "These reforms will be submitted to a vote in parliament but if necessary I will have recourse to a vote by our fellow citizens in a referendum."

Macron said shrinking parliament -- one of his campaign proposals -- would have "positive effects on the general quality of parliamentary work".

The Senate has 348 members, while the lower house National Assembly has 577.