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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Macron’s brand ‘toxic’ – Bloomberg

Even close allies of the French president fear aligning with him ahead of snap elections, the outlet has reported

French President Emmanuel Macron’s allies could distance themselves from him ahead of snap elections as the leader has become a “toxic brand” due to his waning popularity, Bloomberg has reported, citing sources.

The heads of communication at the Elysee Palace have admitted they have “no polls or data to suggest candidates should publicly align themselves with Macron to retain their seats,” the outlet said on Wednesday, citing attendees at an emergency meeting of top French government officials.

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Soon after Macron called snap elections earlier this month, dozens of lawmakers who initially supported the French leader now want him to keep a “low profile” as his behavior grows increasingly “erratic,” Bloomberg claimed.

Even political heavyweights such as French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, once Macron’s closest allies, are keeping their distance, the outlet stated.

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Most pro-government candidates have not placed the president’s image in their campaign posters or leaflets as the Macron brand is feared to be toxic, Bloomberg added. A person close to the president claimed that it’s normal for candidates not to use his image, arguing that the election is about the parliament, not the presidency.

Speaking on Monday on the ‘Generation Do It Yourself’ podcast, Macron claimed that upcoming legislative elections in France could lead to civil war, should the far right or the leftist bloc sweep to power.

Only his centrist ruling coalition can prevent such a scenario, Macron insisted, arguing that both the right-wing National Rally party and the left-wing France Unbowed party have espoused divisive policies that stoke tensions.

Macron’s popularity has tumbled in recent months, and opinion polls indicate that his party is lagging far behind National Rally.

Macron, who has presented himself as a leading backer of Ukraine in the conflict with Russia, has floated the possibility of sending French – and other Western – troops to the battlefield. Jordan Bardella, the National Rally leader, recently said that if he becomes prime minister, he will not send troops or long-range missiles to Ukraine, describing any such moves as “very clear red lines.”

Macon dissolved the country’s parliament and called snap elections earlier this month, after the National Rally party trounced his ruling coalition in the European Parliament elections. He has vowed to stay on as president until his five-year term ends in 2027, but an opposition-controlled legislature and government would dramatically shift the balance of power.

The first round of the elections will be held on Sunday, while the second round is scheduled for July 7.