Defectors from President Emmanuel Macron’s governing party on Tuesday announced the creation of a new group in the French House of Representatives, depriving the president of an outright majority and increasing pressure on more leftist policies.
The renegade MPs launched their new Ecology Democracy Solidarity (EDS) group, featuring leading politicians, including former Macron loyalists Cedric Villani and Paula Forteza.
This means that the LREM ruling party now has 288 MPs, less than the 289 threshold required for an absolute majority in parliament. The number is also well below the 314 seats that Macron had after shaking up the political landscape in 2017.
Macron can still count on parliamentary support from a smaller alliance partner, the centrist MoDem party. However, it may now have more influence on policymaking in the last two years of Macron’s five-year mandate.
Richard Ferrand, a close ally of Macron and president of the Assemblée nationale, acknowledged the loss of the absolute majority of LREM, but said the government, with MoDem’s support, can still count on the votes of 342 MPs.
Macron’s party, La République en Marche (LREM), has faced a series of renegade MPs in recent months. They were mainly frustrated by Macron’s tight grip on decision-making and his pro-business policy.
The new group will be chaired by Paula Forteza and Matthieu Orphelin, a close ally of former environmental minister Nicolas Hulot. He left Macron’s government in frustration with the president’s climate and green energy policies.
The new EDS group, according to its members, wants to contribute to “a strong ambition for social and environmental transformation.”