French far right leader says party ‘ready’ to govern

Tuesday, Jun 25, 2024

PARIS: French far-right leader Jordan Bardella said on Monday his party was ready to govern as he pledged to curb immigration and tackle cost-of-living issues ahead of the country´s most divisive election in decades.

France was plunged into turmoil by President Emmanuel Macron calling snap legislative elections after his centrist party was trounced by the far-right National Rally (RN) in a European vote.

Weekend polls suggested the RN would win 35-36 percent in the first round on Sunday, ahead of a left-wing alliance on 27-29.5 percent and Macron´s centrists in third on 19.5-22 percent. “In three words: we are ready,” Bardella, the 28-year-old RN president told a press conference as he unveiled his party´s programme.

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

“Seven long years of Macronism has weakened the country,” he said, vowing to boost purchasing power, “restore order” and change the law to make it easier to deport foreigners convicted of crimes. He reiterated plans to tighten borders and make it harder for children born in France to foreign parents to gain citizenship.