'We are ready' to rule France: far-right leader Bardella

AFP , Monday 24 Jun 2024

French far-right leader Jordan Bardella said Monday his National Rally party was ready to take power, six days before the start of voting in France's most divisive election in decades.

France
Far-right National Rally party president Jordan Bardella gives a press conference, Monday, June 24, 2024 in Paris. The upcoming two-round parliamentary election will take place on June 30 and July 7. AP

 

"The National Rally is today the only movement capable of implementing the aspirations clearly expressed by the French people in a reasonable manner," Bardella, 28, told a press conference as he set out the party's programme for government.

"In three words: we are ready," he added.

President Emmanuel Macron called snap parliamentary elections following his trouncing by the RN in European elections.

The move stunned the country and put the far right in pole position to win power for the first time in France's post-war history.

Weekend polls showed the RN garnering 35-36 percent of voting intentions in the first round, ahead of a left-wing alliance on 27-29.5 percent and Macron's centrists in third on 19.5-22 percent.

Bardella, the telegenic party president credited with helping the RN clean up its extremist image, has urged voters to give the eurosceptic party an outright majority to allow it implement its anti-immigration, law-and-order programme.

"Seven long years of Macronism has weakened the country," Bardella said, vowing to boost purchasing power, restore order and change the law to make it easier to deport foreigners convicted of crimes.

The election is shaping up as a clash between the RN and the left, led by the hard left France Unbowed of veteran firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon.

Bardella claimed his party, which mainstream parties have in the past united to try to block, was the "patriotic and republican" choice faced with what he alleged the anti-Semitism of the left.

The left denies the charges of anti-Semitism.

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