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Macron could secure parliamentary landslide

French President Emmanuel Macron casts his ballot as he votes at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, during the second round of the French parliamentary elections (elections legislatives in French), on June 18, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images)
Image: Emmanuel Macron cast his ballot at a polling station in Le Touquet

French voters are casting their ballots in the final round of parliamentary elections where new president, Emmanuel Macron, could secure a big majority.

Polls suggest En Marche!, the fledgling party he founded only last year, may win up to 450 of the 577 seats in the national assembly, upsetting the established parties’ grip on power.

That would allow him to move ahead quickly with promised legislation, including over changing labour laws to make hiring and firing easier.

Mr Macron was seen smiling, waving and taking photos with supporters who gathered outside his house in Le Touquet, northern France, as he left to vote.

In May, he scored a resounding win over far-right leader of the Front National, Marine Le Pen, in the final round of the presidential contest, winning 66.1% of the vote.

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) poses for a selfie picture with a supporter as he leaves his house to vote in Le Touquet, northern France, during the second round of the French parliamentary elections (elections legislatives in French), on June 18, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Philippe HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Image: Cheering crowds greeted Mr Macron as he left to vote

The ruling Socialist party, previously a mainstay of French politics, will face near wipe-out if the parliamentary election result mirrors the presidential one.

The Socialists dominated the outgoing assembly with 314 seats but were heavily defeated in the presidential race amid the unpopularity of former president Francois Hollande, and could win as few as 20 seats this time.

Mrs Le Pen is expected to win a seat in the assembly, but fail to capture more than six across the country for her party.

Francois Hollande greets Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace

But turnout could touch record lows, in a sign of voter fatigue after seven months of roller-coaster campaigning and voting.

Less than half of the 47.5 million-strong electorate turned out for the first round last Sunday, a record low.

:: Macron – UK can ‘always’ change its mind over Brexit

Mr Macron was previously economy minister in his predecessor’s government, but quit the job and resigned his party’s whip to launch a bid for the presidency.

At 39, he is France’s youngest head of state in modern history.




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    Although a blockade to enforce trade sanctions is not believed to be imminent, after North Korea’s November rocket test US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it was a possibility.

    White House National Security adviser HR McMaster said in September however, that even ‘non-strike’ options carried the risk of military escalation.

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    North Korea’s latest threat comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping – during a visit by South Korea’s leader – said war must not be allowed to break out.

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    South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said the presidents had agreed to cooperate in applying sanctions and pressure on the North.

    UN chief Antonio Guterres also said on Thursday that it was vital Security Council resolutions on North Korea were fully implemented by all countries.

    “The worst possible thing that could happen is for us all to sleepwalk into a war,” Mr Guterres said during a visit to Tokyo to meet Japan’s PM.

    North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un continues to defy the international community with regular missile tests and threats of nuclear strikes against the US mainland if provoked.

    The latest test – of a long-range Hwasong-15 rocket – was last month.

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    Despite President Trump’s bombastic language and counter-threats, Mr Tillerson recently offered direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions.

    Russia’s Vladimir Putin – speaking at his annual news conference on Thursday – said a pre-emptive US strike against North Korea would be “catastrophic” and called Mr Tillerson’s offer a “realistic” approach.

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