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France’s Left-Wing Election Success Puts Spotlight on Jean-Luc Mélenchon

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Last Updated on July 8, 2024 by Fellow Press

Following the left-wing’s surprising election victory in France on Sunday, attention is now focused on Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who is calling for the left to be given the chance to govern.

The New Popular Front (NFP) coalition, led by Mélenchon, secured the most seats in the second round of France’s snap parliamentary election. The NFP, which includes Mélenchon’s France Unbowed party, the Socialist Party, the French Communist Party, and other green, center-left, and left-wing groups, successfully blocked the far-right’s advance and is now positioning itself as a potential coalition government leader.

“The president has the power and duty to call on the New Popular Front to govern. It is ready for it,” Mélenchon stated following the exit poll projections.

Despite expectations that the far-right would dominate the second round, the left-wing NFP secured 180 seats. However, this was still short of the 289 seats required for an absolute majority in the 577-seat National Assembly. French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist “Together” bloc obtained 163 seats, while the far-right National Rally and its allies won 143 seats.

These results have left France facing a hung parliament, with a challenging road ahead for forming a new government. Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has announced his resignation, adding to the uncertainty.

Mélenchon, who has previously praised late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, suggested taking France out of NATO and proposed a 100% tax rate on the super-wealthy, insists that the new prime minister should come from the left-wing alliance.

However, political analysts and economists believe that Macron, who has not yet commented on the election, is unlikely to appoint Mélenchon as prime minister. Antonio Barroso, deputy director of research at consultancy Teneo, explained that although tradition suggests the largest party proposes a prime minister, Macron is not required to follow this.

“Mélenchon has suggested the new prime minister should come from the NFP. However, the NFP lacks a unified leader, and the coalition parties are divided over who to choose,” Barroso noted.

Even if the NFP agreed on a candidate and Macron appointed them, the National Assembly could still force the new government to collapse with a no-confidence vote. Therefore, a radical figure like Mélenchon is unlikely to be appointed.

Economists have expressed concerns about the NFP’s expansionary fiscal policy. France is already facing a challenging fiscal position, and the European Commission recently announced plans to place France under an Excessive Deficit Procedure due to its budget deficit. If approved, France will need to present revised budget plans by mid-September.

Tina Fordham, founder of Fordham Global Insight, highlighted that while Mélenchon is less known outside of French politics compared to the far-right’s Marine Le Pen, his and the leftist alliance’s policies, including increased public spending and rolling back the retirement age, are at odds with the EU.

Ludovic Subran, chief economist at Allianz, noted that there is significant opposition to the far-left within the NFP, suggesting that the more centrist factions will likely dominate coalition talks.

“I believe we are moving towards a center-left policy. The last time France adjusted its deficit was under President Francois Hollande, so positive changes can occur under a center-left government,” Subran told CNBC’s Charlotte Reed.

Foreign

Vice President Trump, President Putin Of Ukraine – Biden Goofs At NATO Summit

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Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Fellow Press

U.S. President Joe Biden had a series of verbal slip-ups on Thursday alongside the NATO summit in Washington, an unfortunate development for the 81-year-old as he tries to move past concerns that he is too old to run for re-election.

Verbal gaffes are not unusual in the long political career of Biden, who overcame a childhood stutter, but there is closer attention on him amid the fallout from his dismal debate performance against Republican candidate Donald Trump last month.

Trump, who is 78, and also has faced concerns about his age, frequently made false claims during the debate and often rambles during campaign speeches.

Below is a summary of Biden’s mistakes on Thursday.

BIDEN MISTAKENLY CALLS ZELENSKIY ‘PUTIN’

Biden mistakenly referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as “President Putin”.

“And now I want to hand it over to the president of Ukraine, who has as much courage as he has determination, ladies and gentlemen, President Putin,” Biden said at the NATO summit, drawing gasps from those in the room.

“Going to beat President Putin, President Zelenskiy. I am so focused on beating Putin,” Biden said while correcting himself.

BIDEN MISTAKENLY REFERS TO HARRIS AS TRUMP
During a news conference on Thursday evening, Biden mixed up the name of his vice president, Kamala Harris, and his rival Trump.

“Look, I wouldn’t have picked Vice President Trump to be vice president if she was not qualified to be president. So start there,” Biden said as he responded to a question from Reuters about his confidence in Harris.

BIDEN FUMBLES ‘CHIEFS OF STAFF’
Biden also struggled at the news conference to find the words “chiefs of staff,” mistakenly referring to the group of the country’s top uniformed military leaders as “commander in chief,” the title he holds as president.

“And so our military is working on following the advice of my commander in chief my, my, my, the chiefs of staff, of the military as well as the secretary of defense and our intelligence people.”

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Suspect Located in Triple Crossbow Killings in Bushey

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Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by Fellow Press

Kyle Clifford Found in North London Manhunt Following Deaths of Three Women

A manhunt for Kyle Clifford, 26, who was wanted in connection with the murder of three women in a suspected crossbow attack, has concluded with his capture in north London, police have confirmed. Clifford, a former British Army serviceman, was identified by Hertfordshire police as a suspect in the deaths of Carol Hunt, 61, and her daughters, Hannah, 28, and Louise, 25, at their home in Bushey.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Chief Superintendent Jon Simpson of Hertfordshire police revealed that the murders appeared to be “targeted.” Clifford was discovered with injuries and is now receiving medical treatment, though no shots were fired during his apprehension.

The search for Clifford led police to Lavender Hill Cemetery, 16 miles from the crime scene, where a significant police presence was observed. Paramedics and ambulances were also on site near a property searched earlier in the day as part of the manhunt.

Police believe Clifford was known to the victims, and no other suspects are being sought. Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit described the situation as “an incredibly difficult time” for the victims’ family, urging respect for their privacy.

“This investigation is moving at pace, and formal identification of the victims is yet to take place,” DI Jenkins stated. “Following extensive enquiries, the suspect has been located, and nobody else is being sought in connection with the investigation at this time. We have had an overwhelming number of calls and would like to express our gratitude to the members of the public who have contacted us.”

Detectives are appealing for any additional information or video footage related to the case.

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