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Le Pen Accuses Macron Of Preparing ‘Coup D’Etat’ After Series Of Last Minute Appointments

French President Emmanuel Macron’s office issued a statement Wednesday urging “cool-headedness” and “moderation” aimed at the National Rally (RN) party and its supporters, after Marine Le Pen on Tuesday charged that Macron is leading an “administrative coup d’état” to make last-minute appointments, in order to throw up roadblocks should Jordan Bardella assume office as prime minister.

“It’s a form of administrative coup d’état,” denounced Le Pen, who described that Macron is seeking to “counter the vote of the electors, the result of the elections, by appointing people to [him], so that they prevent, within the State, from being able to lead the policy that the French want.”

“For people who give lessons in democracy to the whole world, it’s still surprising to act in this way,” she continued. “In these cases, it shouldn’t have been dissolved.”

However, opponents to Le Pen and those trying to prevent her party which is commonly referenced as the French ‘far right’ have claimed this kind of summer administration leadership shake-up “has always been done”.

Below is a partial list of rapid appointments by Macron over the last days, via Le Monde:

  • a new military governor of Paris
  • a new chief of staff of the air force
  • new director of the European Union at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • three ambassadors were designated
  • new administrators appointed over academic regions

The statement from Macron’s office ripped the accusation as false and misleading, and politically motivated.

“For sixty-six years, there have been appointments and movements every week, particularly in the summer, regardless of the political moments experienced by our institutions, and there is no plan that any of these provisions could change in the coming months,” the statement from the presidency said.

These tit-for-tat denunciations have come days before the RN could be poised to win an absolute majority in the National Assembly during a July 7 run-off. To review, below is how first round of the legislative elections went last Sunday:

  • RN:33.1% of the vote
  • New Popular Front: 28%
  • Macron’s Ensemble coalition: 20%

However, France’s left-wing and centrist parties are in a rare moment of cooperation banding together, and pulling out all the stops, with the French political world now in the midst of intense horse-trading. In constituencies where three people qualified for the runoffs, the third-placed candidate can withdraw to boost the chances of another mainstream party defeating the far right.

Bloomberg reports Wednesday that “Macron’s group, the left-wing New Popular Front and other parties opposed to the National Rally strategically pulled 223 candidates out of constituencies with more than two people in Sunday’s runoff vote in an effort to avoid splitting opposition to the far right.” The end result will be that “Le Pen’s party and its allies will be on the ballot in 214 districts where rivals have teamed up,” according to the report.

“I believe the National Rally can win the election Sunday with an absolute majority,” 28-year old Bardella, who is poised to become the youngest French prime minister in history, told BFM Television earlier this week. “I plan on putting together a government of national unity, based on this absolute majority, to carry out the recovery project that I presented to the country.” The RN has meanwhile been presenting itself as the only chance France has of preserving true democracy and staving off the “chaos of the far-left”—and everything it represents from lax borders to deepening military involvement in Ukraine.

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