‘The only responsible decision’: Le Pen calls to dissolve France’s lower house
Speaking to French media, the head of France’s right-wing National Front likened the recent reshuffle of Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ cabinet to an “illusionist performance,” calling it a “circus.”
Le Pen suggested that French President Francois Hollande should dissolve the National Assembly, France’s lower house of parliament. She added that it was “more than necessary” and “the only responsible decision” Hollande would make since he became head of state five years ago.
“Francois Hollande tries to save time, but the damage is too deep,” Le Pen argued.
In August, Hollande asked Valls to form a new government following tensions within his cabinet over the country’s economic policy.
The decision came after strong criticism of the country’s economic direction – which the outgoing economy minister, Arnaud Montebourg, voiced as he called for a “major shift.”
“My responsibility as economy minister is to tell the truth, and observe...that not only are these austerity policies not working but they are also unfair,” Montebourg said in a statement at a media conference on August 25.
He frontally attacked German Chancellor Angela Merkel for imposing “austerity policy” across Europe.
Hollande appointed a new government composed of core allies, casting aside high-profile, left-wing critics – including Montebourg, Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti, and Minister for Education Benoît Hamon. The move was the second government reshuffle in less than six months.
The latest polls have indicated that Le Pen’s popularity is on the rise. A survey released on Friday estimates that the nationalist leader would beat Hollande in the second round of the 2017 elections after grabbing over 30 percent of the vote in the first round.
The tensions in the Parliament could soon reach its peak, as Valls' government faces a confidence vote on September 16.
Le Pen said on Friday that Hollande no longer has the confidence of the people. “I’m respectful of the institutions. I do not question the legitimacy of President. But he no longer has the confidence of the people,” she told Le Monde.
Meanwhile, Valls warned on Sunday that the National Front party is at the “gates of power.”
“In France, the extreme right of Marine Le Pen is at the gates of power,” Valls said. “And I, as a man of the left, will never be able to resign myself to that because it will be the weakest who will be the first to suffer. And it will also be a terrible, perhaps fatal, blow to Europe.”
France’s National Front, known for its anti-immigrant and anti-EU rhetoric, achieved unprecedented results in the latest EU polls, claiming nearly 25 percent of the votes and winning the election.
“Our people demand one type of politics: they want politics by the French, for the French, with the French. They don’t want to be led anymore from outside, to submit to laws.” Those were the National Front’s slogans that garnered a quarter of French voters earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Hollande’s popularity in France has hit a record lows this summer.