Vying to quell public unrest and a wave of protests, French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to ask the French electorate to vote in a May referendum. Since mid-November, nationwide protests have knocked Macron off balance and upended his pro-business agenda. He’s been lambasted as the president for the rich, aloof from the everyday concerns of French people. France has a generous welfare system but still many French are frustrated with high unemployment, a stagnant economy and weak purchasing power. In response to the protests, Macron has scrapped fuel tax hikes, raised the minimum wage and opened a two-month-long nationwide debate where people can voice their concerns and solutions to France’s problems at meetings and through an online portal.Full Article: Macron Said to Eye Election-Timed Referendum on Protests.
Articles about voting issues in the French Republic.
Emmanuel Macron has vowed to introduce a law to ban fake news on the internet during French election campaigns. The French president, who beat the far-right Marine Le Pen to win 2017’s election, said he wanted new legislation for social media platforms during election periods “in order to protect democracy”. In his new year’s speech to journalists at the Élysée palace, Macron said he would shortly present the new law in order to fight the spread of fake news, which he said threatened liberal democracies. New legislation for websites would include more transparency about sponsored content. Under the new law, websites would have to say who is financing them and the amount of money for sponsored content would be capped.Full Article: Emmanuel Macron promises ban on fake news during elections | World news | The Guardian.
Corsican nationalists have demanded talks with the French government over more autonomy after a convincing win in Sunday’s regional elections. President Emmanuel Macron now faces the dilemma of whether to loosen France’s grip on the Mediterranean island or to maintain centralised control. Like Catalonia, whose bid for independence from Spain has sparked a crisis with Madrid and in the European Union, Corsica has long harboured separatist ambitions. Sunday’s second-round vote, in which a coalition of nationalist candidates won a 56.5% share, strengthens the hand of those seeking greater control. Unlike Catalonia, which is wealthy and self-sufficient, Corsica depends heavily on funding from Paris, prompting the Pè a Corsica (For Corsica) movement to insist it is seeking autonomy not independence.Full Article: Corsica calls for greater autonomy from France after election | World news | The Guardian.
Corsican nationalists swept elections Sunday on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica for a new regional assembly, crushing President Emmanuel Macron’s young centrist movement and traditional parties. The nationalists on the once-restive island of 320,000 people want more autonomy from Paris but unlike those in the nearby Spanish region of Catalonia, they aren’t seeking full independence — yet. In what French media called an unprecedented score, a coalition of moderate and harder-line nationalists won 56.5 percent of the vote in Sunday’s second-round election, according to figures from the Interior Ministry. Local media showed nationalists sing Corsican songs and celebrating in the streets after the results were announced.Full Article: Corsican nationalists win regional vote with historic score | World | lancasteronline.com.
Nationalists seeking greater autonomy for France’s Corsica on Monday ruled out an imminent independence bid but demanded greater freedoms for the island after winning the first round of regional elections. The governing Pe a Corsica (For Corsica) alliance, which groups the pro-autonomy Femu a Corsica (Let’s Make Corsica) and pro-independence Corsica Libera (Free Corsica), won 45.36 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election to the regional assembly. Local rightwing party La Voie de l’Avenir (Future Path) came second with 14.97 percent, ahead of France’s main opposition conservative Republicans in third with 12.77 percent.Full Article: Nationalists in Corsica demand more freedoms after election gains - The Local.
A coalition of movements pushing for greater autonomy for Corsica looks likely to dominate a newly constituted assembly on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, returns from the first round of voting on Sunday show. Pe a Corsica, or “For Corsica” in the local dialect, had 45.4 percent of the vote, according to returns from the Interior Ministry. A center-right regional list, or slate, of candidates followed with 15 percent. A list linked to the center-right Republicans opposition party had 12.8 percent, and the list linked to the national ruling party of President Emmanuel Macron had 11.3 percent. One of Pe a Corsica’s joint leaders Monday ruled out pushing for full independence, saying: “It’s not the issue right now.” In an interview with Europe1, Gilles Simeoni said “the Catalan model is not transferable to Corsica,” referring to the Spanish region that’s in a standoff with Madrid after holding a referendum on independence.Full Article: Nationalists Prevail in Local Election in France's Corsica - Bloomberg.
Wikileaks has published Emmanuel Macron’s leaked presidential campaign emails as a searchable archive, meaning millions of internet users will be able to access the 71,848 emails sent and received during Macron’s leadership bid. The whistleblowing website revealed more than 20,000 of the emails were sent or received by addresses associated with the campaign, with the others emails it couldn’t verify. Macron’s office said the now French President’s email account was hacked on 5 May – just a few days before he defeated second favourite candidate Marine Le Pen. This is despite the campaign team reportedly planting false data to try and fool any hackers from stealing the data.Full Article: Wikileaks releases Macron's team's emails | IT PRO.
Russian intelligence agents attempted to spy on President Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign earlier this year by creating phony Facebook personas, according to a U.S. congressman and two other people briefed on the effort. About two dozen Facebook accounts were created to conduct surveillance on Macron campaign officials and others close to the centrist former financier as he sought to defeat far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen and other opponents in the two-round election, the sources said. Macron won in a landslide in May. Facebook said in April it had taken action against fake accounts that were spreading misinformation about the French election. But the effort to infiltrate the social networks of Macron officials has not previously been reported.Full Article: Exclusive: Russia used Facebook to try to spy on Macron campaign - sources.
France: In address before parliament at Versailles, Macron Calls for Changes to France’s Parliament, Voting | AFP
In his first address to members of the National Assembly and Senate since his election in May, Macron delivered a US-style state of the nation speech in the Versailles palace, the former seat of French kings, saying the country must change. “Until now, we were too often on the wrong track,” said the 39-year-old leader, who won office on a promise of political renewal. “We preferred procedures to results, rules to initiative, a society where you live off inherited wealth, to a just society.” He confirmed a plan to implement reform of France’s jaded political system, changes first raised during campaigning. That would include shrinking the number of lawmakers in both houses of parliament — 577 in the lower house National Assembly and 348 in the Senate — by a third, saying it would have “positive effects on the general quality of parliamentary work”.Full Article: Macron pledges to transform politics in address before parliament at Versailles - France 24.
France voted a record number of women into parliament, election results showed on Monday, after President Emmanuel Macron’s victorious Republic on the Move (LREM) party fielded a gender-balanced candidate list. Of the 577 newly elected lawmakers, 223 were female, beating the previous record of 155 set after the last election. That sent France leapfrogging from 64th to 17th in the world rankings of female parliamentary representation and to 6th place in Europe, overtaking Britain and Germany, according to Inter-parliamentary Union data compiled at the start of June. LREM, which won an overwhelming majority in Sunday’s ballot, had the highest proportion of women elected, at 47 percent.Full Article: France elects record number of women to parliament | Reuters.
France: Macron’s Party and Allies Win Majority in French Parliamentary Elections | The New York Times
President Emmanuel Macron of France won a crucial stamp of approval on Sunday as voters gave him and his allies a decisive majority in parliamentary elections, but a record-low turnout cast a shadow over his victory, pointing to the hurdles he will face as he seeks to revive the country’s economy and confidence. When the votes were counted, Mr. Macron’s party, La République en Marche (the Republic on the Move) and its allies had won 350 seats in the 577-member National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament. Mr. Macron, a relative political newcomer who was elected on May 7, had called for a strong mandate to advance his legislative agenda, including plans to loosen France’s restrictive labor laws. Voters swept in many first-time candidates, including some of Arab or African ancestry, and elected more than 200 women, a record in France’s modern history.Full Article: Macron’s Party and Allies Win Majority in French Parliamentary Elections - The New York Times.
With its nautical boutiques, trim lawns and tennis club, the seaside town of Le Touquet is the weekend refuge for the bourgeoisie of northern France. Set in deep conservative country, the town is run by a centre-right Republican mayor, Daniel Fasquelle, and voted overwhelmingly for François Fillon, the Republican candidate defeated in the first round of the presidential election earlier this year. For ten years, Mr Fasquelle has also been a parliamentary deputy. Back in January, the town expected to bring a welcome end to five years of Socialist rule in France, and a return to conservative order. Yet at a first-round ballot on June 11th for a new parliament, the good folk of Le Touquet put an unknown entrepreneur, Thibaut Guilluy, into the lead, pushing their mayor into second place and a run-off vote on June 18th. Mr Guilluy belongs to an army of novice candidates standing for President Emmanuel Macron’s party, La République en Marche! (LRM) who, without pike or pitchfork, are mounting a peaceful revolution in democratic politics.Full Article: Emmanuel Macron’s democratic revolution.
France: As France’s electoral marathon nears its denouement there could still be surprises | The Conversation
When Emmanuel Macron launched his outsider campaign for France’s presidency in November 2016, most observers thought he had little chance of winning – he was “too young” and had support from neither of the major parties. Then he squeaked out a win in the first round and went on to crush the extreme right-winger Marine Le Pen nearly two-to-one in the May 7 finale. Now the candidates put forward by Macron and his party, La République en Marche (LREM) have dominated the first round of the legislative elections, with potential wins in more than 400 seats out of a total of 577. The legislative elections have served to amplify the restructuring that was already taking place during the presidential elections. This featured a collapse of the Socialist Party, a weakening of Les Républicains (LR), and a significant drop for both Le Pen’s Front National (FN) and the far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon of La France Insoumise (France Unbowed).Full Article: As France's electoral marathon nears its denouement there could still be surprises.
France: The big question in France’s parliamentary elections: Why did so few people vote? | The Washington Post
Sunday was a good day for French President Emmanuel Macron. Just weeks after his remarkable win in the French presidential election, Macron’s recently established political party took a huge lead in the first round of voting for the country’s legislature, the National Assembly. The Republic on the Move party is projected to win 390 to 430 of the French Parliament’s 577 seats, according to an Ipsos-Sopra analysis. But observers noticed an uncomfortable detail in the electoral figures: Turnout of registered voters was the lowest it has been in any parliamentary election under France’s Fifth Republic. Turnout in the first round of voting for France’s National Assembly was the lowest in the history of the Fifth Republic.Full Article: The big question in France’s parliamentary elections: Why did so few people vote? - The Washington Post.
The French president Emmanuel Macron’s new centrist party looks set to take an overwhelming majority in parliament after the first round of elections held on Sunday. Official final results released early on Monday showed Macron’s one-year-old La République En Marche (Republic on the Move) and ally MoDem winning 32.32% in the first round, ahead of Les Républicains and its allies on 21.56% and the far-right Front National on 13.20%. The Socialist party – the party of Macron’s predecessor Francois Hollande – took just 9.5% of the vote with its allies. The result was however marred by a record low voter turnout of just 49%.Full Article: Emmanuel Macron's party set for landslide in French parliamentary elections | World news | The Guardian.
The head of the French government’s cyber security agency, which investigated leaks from President Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign, says they found no trace of a notorious Russian hacking group behind the attack. In an interview in his office Thursday with The Associated Press, Guillaume Poupard said the Macron campaign hack “was so generic and simple that it could have been practically anyone.” He said they found no trace that the Russian hacking group known as APT28, blamed for other attacks including on the U.S. presidential campaign, was responsible.Full Article: The Latest: France says no trace of Russian hacking Macron - StarTribune.com.
The US watched Russians hack France’s computer networks during the presidential election – and tipped off French officials before it became public, a US cyber official has told the Senate. France’s election campaign commission said on Saturday that “a significant amount of data” — and some fake information — was leaked on social networks following a hacking attack on Emmanuel Macron’s successful presidential campaign. France’s cybersecurity agency is investigating what a government official described as a “very serious” breach.Full Article: US official says France warned about Russian hacking before Macron leak | Technology | The Guardian.
Two days before France’s recent presidential election, hackers leaked nine gigabytes of emails from candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign onto the web. Since then, the Kremlin has once again emerged as the likeliest culprit. But while public evidence can’t definitively prove Russia’s involvement, NSA director Michael Rogers suggested to Congress today that America’s most powerful cybersecurity agency has pinned at least some electoral interference on Moscow. In a hearing of the Senate’s Armed Forces Committee, Rogers indicated that the NSA had warned French cybersecurity officials ahead of the country’s presidential runoff that Russian hackers had compromised some elements of the election. For skeptics, that statement may help tip the balance towards credibly blaming Russia for the attacks.Full Article: The NSA Confirms It: Russia Hacked French Election ‘Infrastructure’ | WIRED.
Late on May 5 as the two final candidates for the French presidency were about to enter a press blackout in advance of the May 7 election, nine gigabytes of data allegedly from the campaign of Emmanuel Macron were posted on the Internet in torrents and archives. The files, which were initially distributed via links posted on 4Chan and then by WikiLeaks, had forensic metadata suggesting that Russians were behind the breach—and that a Russian government contract employee may have falsified some of the dumped documents. Even WikiLeaks, which initially publicized the breach and defended its integrity on the organization’s Twitter account, has since acknowledged that some of the metadata pointed directly to a Russian company with ties to the government.Full Article: Evidence suggests Russia behind hack of French president-elect | Ars Technica.
French citizens have elected the centrist Emmanuel Macron as president, despite an unwelcome last-minute leak of his campaign’s documents over the Internet. Late Friday evening, Macron found thousands of files and e-mails relating to his campaign, totaling at least nine gigabytes, shared online. Just ahead of the country’s midnight campaigning cutoff, Macron’s En Marche! team had time to alert the public to the fact that the document dump was the result of a hack, and took the opportunity to implore media organizations to report on the news responsibly. As CNBC points out, French law bans the media from covering the election in the run-up to voting, which means that domestic publications had little chance to run the story. That didn’t stop bots on Twitter, though, which appear to have been widely circulating links during the weekend.Full Article: Election Hacks Are Beginning to Look Like the New Normal - MIT Technology Review.