French president-elect’s party says it only has 450 definite candidates
The president-elect had pledged to announce on Thursday afternoon the names of all those selected to stand next month in the country’s 577 constituencies.
But hours before the official statement was due, his party, La République en Marche! (LRM), admitted it had only 450 definite candidates.
Emmanuel Macron’s party officials have admitted they do not have a full list of candidates they hope to field in crucial parliamentary elections that will decide if the new French president has the power to push through his programme of reforms.
Party officials blamed last-minute candidate bids from prominent figures, such as former Socialist prime minister Manuel Valls, for throwing the selection process off course.
Approximately 15,000 people have sent applications to be candidates for Macron’s fledgling party since January. Officials are struggling to settle in weeks a process that normally takes three years for an already established party, which LRM is not. The two-round vote is scheduled for 11 and 18 June.
LRM presidential candidates must have a clean police record and not hold any other elected political position. Until now, politicians have been allowed to accumulate jobs leading to some being mayor, regional councillor and member of the national assembly.
Last weekend Macron won a decisive victory against the far-right Marine Le Pen in the presidential election second round runoff. The pro-European centrist, who will take office on 14 May, has promised to overhaul the political system and rewrite labour laws in the hope of reducing mass unemployment in a country still struggling with weak economic growth.
The new president will need a clear majority in the Assemblée Nationale if he is to pursue his “progressive” programme.