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France Renews Half of Senators’ Seats, a Test for Macron

France Renews Half of Senators’ Seats, a Test for MacronFrance Renews Half of Senators’ Seats, a Test for Macron

On Sunday, France will elect nearly half its senate, in a vote that is expected to illustrate the slide in President Emmanuel Macron’s popularity since his election earlier this year.

The election involves around half of the senate —or 171 of the chamber’s 348 seats. The senators, who will be elected for six-year terms, are chosen by more than 75,000 elected officials, including members of the National Assembly, mayors, regional and local councilors, AP reported.

French senators debate and vote laws along with the national assembly, France’s lower house of parliament. However, the assembly, where Macron’s party has a large majority, has the final say. Sunday’s elections are expected to consolidate the senate’s conservative majority, now composed of 142 members of The Republicans party.

Macron’s newly created centrist party, La Republique En Marche, or Republic On the Move, currently has 29 seats. The party hopes to reach 50 senators.

The voting system, based on elected officials, tends to give an advantage to locally rooted politicians from traditional parties, rather than the candidates of Macron’s party, many of whom are newcomers in politics. Many local elected officials have recently been upset by Macron’s plan to slash budgets of local authorities and that could see the president’s allies getting fewer votes than might have been the case a few months ago.

 

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