Macron prepares for another defeat in the French senatorial elections

Nearly half the seats in the French Senate are up for grabs on Sunday in an election that is expected to leave the chamber dominated by conservatives and deliver another electoral blow to President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party.

The election is indirect, the senators being chosen essentially by some 75,000 local elected officials such as municipal councillors. They vote for 172 of the 348 seats in the Senate, whose senators serve six-year terms.

The conservative Republican Party is expected to retain its majority, now at 143 seats.

Macron’s Republic on the Move party was created just four years ago and has 23 seats in the outgoing Senate. He has lost popularity since the last election in 2017 due to protests by yellow vests against policies seen as favoring the wealthy, infighting between parties and voter disenchantment with Macron’s leadership, including his handling. of the coronavirus crisis.

The Greens party, meanwhile, got a boost in this year’s municipal elections thanks to growing public concern about climate change. He hopes Sunday’s election will give him enough senators to form an official voting group in the upper house. The party currently has only four senators and needs 10 to form a group.

French senatorial elections are held every three years, with part of the chamber being replaced each time.

Macron’s party has struggled in recent elections and the president has not announced whether he will seek a second term in 2022. The virus pandemic and resulting recession, along with years of protests, have jeopardized its major projects aimed at transforming the French economy to make it more global. competitive and to reinvent European unity.

In recent weeks, France has grappled with a resurgence of the virus which has already killed more than 31,600 of its citizens, one of the highest virus death rates in Europe.

Macron’s party still controls the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, which has the final say on Senate legislation. And the Republicans who dominate the Senate generally support Macron’s business-friendly economic policies.

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