French citizens can go to the polls again in the Southeast on Saturday, June 3, to select from a choice of 18 candidates in the parliamentary elections that will determine the balance of power among France’s political parties in its National Assembly.
The Consulate General of France in Atlanta has organized polling booths in Greenville, S.C.; Raleigh, N.C., and Nashville, Tenn., as well on the eighth floor at the Peachtree Tower Lenox, 3399 Peachtree as it did for the presidential election in May.
Among the candidates are Frederic Lefebvre, a former minister in the government of former President Nicolas Sarkozy who currently represents in the National Assembly all French citizens living in the United States and Canada, and Roland Lescure, a Canadian, who has relinquished his post as chief investment officer at one of the province of Quebec’s largest pension funds to campaign for the post as part of French President Emmanuel Macron’s team.
Mr. Macron won 66.1 percent of the vote cast on May 7 with more than 90 percent of the votes cast on his behalf in the Southeast. Only 40 percent of the registered French voters in the Southeast, however, bothered to go to the polls.
France holds two rounds of voting in parliamentary elections with the top two candidates for each post in the first round facing off against each other in the second round. If one of the candidates during the first round receives more than 50 percent of the votes, a second round for that post will not be held.
There are 577 seats to be filled by 6,500 candidates. Unlike the presidential election, if either candidate scores more than 12.5 percent of the 200,000 registered voters in the U.S. and Canada in the first round, he can proceed to a second round on June 17.
The election has been extraordinary for French politics because neither of the presidential candidates from the main center-left or center-right parties advanced to the second round.
Mr. Macron’s newly created party En Marche (Forward!) is currently not represented in the National Assembly and has drawn high profile political figures from other parties as members of his cabinet including Edouard Philippe, a deputy of the Republicans, as prime minister.
When Global Atlanta asked Mr. Lefebvre, a Republican, during his visit to Atlanta May 15 whether he would continue to support Mr. Philippe, who had just abandoned his party, he replied that they were friends, but that he would remain loyal to the Republicans.
During a meeting with members of the French community here, Mr. Lefebvre reviewed the numerous relationships he has built up throughout North America during the past four years that he has served as its representative.
He also told Global Atlanta that he as excellent relations with Mr.Macron, the new president, and supported the labor reforms that he had proposed while economics minister in the former government.
In addition, Mr. Lefebvre said that if re-elected his top priorities would be focused on putting an end to the discriminatory taxation of French citizens in North America (CSG/CRDS), educational issues affecting overseas French citizens and providing support for health insurance policies and social security protection.
Mr. Lescure, like Mr. Macron, comes from the world of finance, and his platform is equivalent to that of the president who is adamant about changing the country’s labor laws.
Unlike during the presidential election, votes may be mailed to the consulate in Atlanta but must be received by Thursday evening, June 1.
For more information about the parliamentary vote, click here