Macron urges mainstream coalition after election, angering leftist alliance

French President Emmanuel Macron has called on mainstream parties to join forces to form a solid majority in the National Assembly, in his first public comments since Sunday's snap election delivered a hung parliament. The left-wing NFP alliance, which won the most seats, has called for the will of the voters to be respected.

The vote, which Macron unexpectedly called after losing to the far-right National Rally (RN) in European elections, has plunged France into uncharted waters, with three politically divergent blocs and no obvious path to forming a government.

In a letter to regional newspapers published Wednesday, the deeply unpopular Macron urged mainstream parties with "republican values" to form a governing coalition and said he hoped to pick a prime minister from such a grouping.

"Let us place our hope in the ability of our political leaders to demonstrate sense, harmony and calm in your interest, and that of the country," he wrote. "It is in the light of these principles that I will decide on the appointment of the prime minister."

Left denounces 'machinations'

The New Popular Front (NFP), a hastily assembled alliance of the hard-left France Unbowed (LFI) party and the Socialist, Green and Communist parties, unexpectedly won the most seats in Sunday's vote, but not a majority.

It would be customary for Macron to call on the biggest parliamentary group, in this case the left-wing bloc, to form a government, but the constitution does not oblige him to do so.

(with Reuters)

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