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Paris voters leave legislature divided

People react to the projection of results during the second round of the legislative elections, near Republique Plaza in Paris, France, Sunday, July 7, 2024   -  
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Christophe Ena/Copyright 2024. The AP


Residents in Paris showed mixed emotions on Monday as voters split their legislature among left, center, and far-right groups, preventing any single faction from gaining a majority to govern.

President Emmanuel Macron's snap election gamble aimed to bring clarity, but results fell short, just weeks before the Paris Olympics. A leftist coalition surged ahead in the second-round results, while Macron's centrists ranked second, necessitating alliances to govern. Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally, despite leading initially, ended up third after strategic moves to block its candidates.

"I feel relieved," said teacher Rachid Sabry, 60. "I see the France I love. I arrived here decades ago and built a family. There were doubts recently, but now I feel better."

None of the main blocs secured the 289 seats needed in the 577-seat National Assembly, leaving uncertainty about the future government, which intrigued legal clerk Nadine Dupuis, 60. She found the situation exciting rather than alarming.

Instead of supporting Macron, voters used the election to express frustration over issues like inflation and crime. The New Popular Front now aims to form a government, proposing policy shifts and a tougher stance on Israel due to its conflict with Hamas. However, the challenge remains in finding consensus within the left without alienating allies.

Unlike other European nations with coalition traditions, France's centralized decision-making in Paris complicates forming a majority from diverse political factions.

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