Macron wins strong parliamentary majority: exit polls

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French President Emmanuel Macron's Republic on the Move party has won a commanding parliamentary majority after Sunday's election. It marks an impressive victory for a party that is less than a year old and mostly comprised of people with little or no political experience. Ro Aram has the details. With official results now out... the LREM and its Modem allies have won more than 300 seats in the 577-seat lower house. This far exceeds the 289-seat threshold needed to control the National Assembly. The Socialists - the outgoing majority - have been crushed, only getting about 30 seats, which is their lowest ever in the postwar Fifth Republic. As a result the party's leader has stepped down. Republicans and their allies have formed the largest opposition bloc with more than 130 seats, but this is still far short of their previous tally of 200. Macron's presidential rival and far-right leader Marine Le Pen won a parliamentary seat for the first time and her National Front party clinched at least eight seats, although it was aiming to get 15. Voter turnout for both rounds of the general election was sharply down from 2012 and the second round was estimated to be around 42 percent - a record low. Although the LREM's majority was lower than previously forecast, it still provides a strong mandate for the centrist president to pursue his pro-EU, business-friendly reform plans. But, the high abstention rate means Macron will have to be careful instituting its reforms as there is still a strong divide towards his policies. Trade unions and a history of street protests have forced many past governments to dilute new legislation. Ro Aram, Arirang News.

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