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3Novices:Macron to forge ahead with pro-EU reforms after French election victory

PARIS // French president Emmanuel Macron was poised to forge ahead with pro-EU, business-friendly reforms on Monday after his centrist party redrew the country's political map with a victory in parliamentary elections.

Although it fell short of a predicted landslide, Mr Macron's Republique en Marche (Republic on the Move) party and its centrist ally, MoDem, won 350 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly after Sunday's run-off vote.

The result also means Republique en Marche can, if necessary, govern without the support of MoDem, which won 42 seats.

The election was closely watched around the world to see if France's youngest leader yet would secure a mandate to push through his pro-European Union reform agenda.

Members of the new National Assembly will be nearly six years younger on average. There are a record 224 women politicians, and it is more varied in background - if politically less experienced.

The party that Mr Macron, 39, founded 14 months ago has caused a political earthquake, despite its 350-seat tally being lower than the 470 predicted by some polls.

"A profoundly renewed political generation takes over the reins of legislative power," wrote editorialist Alexis Brezet in the right-wing Le Figaro newspaper.

Mr Macron wants to use his majority in parliament to pursue his agenda of changing labour laws and overhauling France's social security system.

He has had little resistance against his intention to use executive orders to push through reforms without parliamentary debate, although street protests against attacks on workers' rights - such as those seen last year - are considered likely.

The parliamentary boost also strengthens Mr Macron's hand on the European stage as the EU heads into negotiations on Britain's departure from the bloc.

* Agence France-Presse



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