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The EU gains of the Far Right Conventional powers are rattled by Parliament, prompting Macron to announce early elections.

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With significant gains in parliamentary seats, far-right groups rocked the established powers in the European Union, handily defeating French President Emmanuel Macron, who called early legislative elections.

The results of the European Parliament election on Monday indicated a strong tilt to the right in the 27-nation bloc’s parliamentary membership. However, some votes were still being counted. Giorgia Meloni, the premier of Italy, more than doubled the number of assembly seats held by her party. And even though a controversy involving candidates plagued them, the far-right Alternative for Germany party managed to garner enough seats to overtake Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s collapsing Social Democrats.

Prior to the elections, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s Christian Democrats made further rightward shifts on immigration and climate change, sensing a threat from the far right. Her efforts were rewarded with the party’s continued dominance in the 720-seat European Parliament and its role as de facto middleman over the legislature’s ever-growing powers.

However, it will be far more difficult for the assembly to enact laws on topics ranging from climate change to farm policy during the next five years due to the rise of nationalist and populist parties throughout Europe.

But without a doubt, the highlight of an incredible election night was Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party, which topped the French polls to such an extent that Macron dissolved the national parliament right away and announced that fresh elections would take place later this month. It was a huge political gamble because more losses for his party could have ruined his chances of winning the presidency until 2027.

Le Pen accepted the challenge with great pleasure. She echoed the catchphrase of several far-right leaders across other nations who were commemorating significant victories, saying, “We’re ready to turn the country around, ready to defend the interests of the French, ready to put an end to mass immigration.”

The pro-European centrist Renew party, led by Macron, is predicted to receive fewer than 15% of the vote, whereas her National Rally received almost 30%, or nearly twice as much.

Macron admitted to feeling defeated. “I will address your concerns and I have heard your message,” he declared, adding that holding an early election would only strengthen his democratic credentials.

Forecasts showed that voters in Germany, the most populous country in the EU, had not been deterred by the AfD’s problems, as its share of the vote increased to 16.5% from 11% in 2019. In contrast, the three parties that make up the German governing coalition’s combined result only about managed to reach 30%.

Scholz’s ruling Social Democratic party suffered a humiliating defeat as the Alternative for Germany quickly took the lead. “After all the dire predictions, after the barrage of the last few weeks, we are the second strongest force,” a jubilant AfD leader Alice Weidel said.

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In the end, Sunday’s voting showed that the Christian Democrats and the Socialists, two mainstream and pro-European parties, continued to lead the EU. The Greens, who were predicted to lose roughly 20 seats and revert to sixth place in the assembly, suffered as a result of the far right’s victories. Macron’s pro-industry Renew group suffered a significant loss too.

After toying with the notion of forming an alliance with a party farther to the right during the campaign, von der Leyen made an offer late on Sunday to form a coalition with the pro-business Liberals and the Social Democrats, who mostly maintained their position in the polls.

Von der Leyen declared, “We are the anchor of stability; we are by far the strongest party.” She went on to say that the outcome provides “great stability for the parties in the centre,” reflecting on the growth of the far-right and the strong showing of the far-left. Everybody is interested in stability and wants to see a powerful, cohesive Europe.

Provisional results indicated that the pro-business Renew group would have 83 seats, down 19, the Social Democrats would have 135 seats, down 4, and the Christian Democrats would have 189 seats, up 13. The Greens dropped to 53, a deficit of 18.

Germany, which has historically been a bastion for environmentalists, served as an example of the Greens’ decline, as they were expected to go from 20% to 12%. More losses are anticipated in France and other countries. the Greens’ defeat could well have an impact on the EU’s climate change policies, still the most progressive across the globe.

Leaders of the major parties in the European Union parliament were scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss potential coalitions. Whether the extreme right comes together to form a powerful enough bloc to take on the main pro-European organisations will be crucial to how the assembly operates going forward.

Voter confidence among the 450 million or more members of the bloc is being tested during the elections. The EU has been rocked during the past five years by the coronavirus pandemic, a downturn in the economy, and an energy crisis brought on by Russia’s conflict in Ukraine. However, national concerns were frequently the focus of campaigns rather than the interests of all of Europe.

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Populist or far-right parties have taken control of governments in three countries since the 2019 EU elections: Hungary, Slovakia, and Italy. They also form coalitions that rule in other countries including Sweden, Finland, and shortly the Netherlands.

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During the G7 meeting, Modi and Trudeau interact briefly as tensions over the Nijjar massacre claims rise.

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Toronto: On Friday, during the G7 leaders’ summit in Apulia, Italy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau had a brief meeting. This was the first time the two leaders had met since Trudeau revealed in the House of Commons on September 18, 2018, that there were “credible allegations” of a possible connection between Indian agents and the three-month-old murder of pro-Khalistan activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia.

The meeting was not scheduled by either PM on their official calendar.

Modi shared a picture of the two leaders together on X, none of them seemed to be smiling. A Canadian PMO official was quoted by the Globe and Mail in a statement that stated, “The Prime Minister congratulated Prime Minister Modi on his re-election and the leaders had a brief discussion on the bilateral relationship.” Of course, there are significant problems currently dividing our two nations. We hope you understand that we won’t be releasing any more information at this time,” the statement continued.

On June 5, after Modi was re-elected to a third term, Trudeau’s office released a statement. In that statement, it was said that “Canada stands ready to work together to advance the relationship between our peoples – anchored to human rights, diversity, and the rule of law” as both bilateral and Indo-Pacific partners. “India looks forward to working with Canada based on mutual understanding and respect for each other’s concerns,” was Modi’s response on X four days later.

They had last had a face-to-face meeting in September of last year at the G20 leaders’ conference in New Delhi. It was subsequently revealed that Trudeau had brought up the subject of Nijjar’s murder in that conversation. Trudeau “raised the importance of respecting the rule of law, democratic principles, and national sovereignty,” according to his PMO at the time.

At the time, a statement from the External Affairs Ministry emphasised New Delhi’s “strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada” while stating that “mutual respect and trust” were crucial for the relationship to advance.

The next meeting of the G7 leaders will take place in Canada in 2025 in Kananaskis, Alberta. As an outreach partner for the earlier events in Italy, Germany, Japan, and the UK, India was invited. But when Canada last hosted the summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, in 2018, India was not invited.

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Did the G7 proclamation no longer include abortion or the LGBTQ community? Italy responds

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Artificial intelligence, the world economy, security and defence, and the ongoing battles in Gaza and Ukraine were the main topics of discussion during the G7 conference in Italy. However, the actual G7 proclamation, which was released to the public on Friday, included no mention of LGBTQ problems or abortion rights.

According to The Guardian, Italy’s far-right government, led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, denied that the G7 declaration’s references to abortion and the LGBTQ community had been eliminated. It should be mentioned that during last year’s G7 conference in Japan, both of these allusions were mentioned in the statement.

The protection of the LGBTQ community’s “gender identity and sexual orientation” was not included in the statement released on June 13, the first day of the summit. The proclamation also omitted the word “abortion.”

The G7 leaders committed to ensuring that women have “universal access to adequate, affordable, and quality health services for women, including comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights for all,” even though abortion was not included in the declaration.

The G7 leaders pledged last year to include “access to safe and legal abortion” in Japan’s women’s healthcare system. Bloomberg was the first to report on the loss of LGBTQ rights and abortion, and they connected it to Pope Francis’s participation in the G7 summit.

Meloni’s office was quoted in The Guardian as saying, “There is no basis for the Bloomberg report that suggested that any mention of LGBT rights will be eliminated from the final G7 communiqué. This rebuilding is absolutely denied by the Italian presidency [of the G7].

Meloni and French President Emmanuel Macron have previously spat over allegations that Italy had softened the G7 declaration’s final wording regarding access to safe abortion.

On the fringes of the conference, Macron remarked to an Italian journalist, “You don’t have the same sensibilities in your country.” The French government envisions gender equality, although not all political parties share this goal.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa is re-elected for a second term following a stunning last-minute coalition agreement.

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Legislators on Friday re-elected South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to a second term. This came about when his party, hours before the election, forged an unexpected coalition agreement with a former political rival.

In Parliament, African National Congress leader Ramaphosa defeated the unexpectedly nominated Julius Malema of the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters with a decisive win. In the 400-member house, Ramaphosa earned 283 votes to Malema’s 44.

With the support of some smaller parties and legislators from the Democratic Alliance, the nation’s second-largest party, 71-year-old Ramaphosa was able to win a second term. After the African National Congress (ANC) lost its long-held majority in a historic election two weeks ago, reducing it to 159 members in Parliament, they supported him in the vote and helped him over the finish line.

The ANC and the DA inked the last-minute deal during a break in what ended up being an extended parliamentary session, thereby guaranteeing Ramaphosa’s continued leadership of Africa’s most developed economy. In their first national coalition in which no party holds a majority in Parliament, the parties will now share governance of South Africa.

The agreement, known as a government of national unity, unites the ANC with the Democratic Alliance (DA), a white-led party that has long served as the primary opposition and the ANC’s most ardent opponent. Two smaller parties at least joined the deal as well.

The agreement, which thrust South Africa into unknown territory, was hailed by Ramaphosa as a “new birth, a new era for our country” and he urged the involved parties “to overcome their differences and to work together.”

He declared, “This is what we are going to do, and this is what I promise to accomplish as President.”

Since the apartheid system of white minority rule ended in 1994, the ANC, the renowned party of Nelson Mandela, had controlled South Africa with a comfortable majority.

However, in the humiliating national election held on May 29, a pivotal moment for the nation, it lost its 30-year majority. The vote took place in the midst of a general outcry among South Africans due to the country’s high rates of unemployment, inequality, and poverty.

Given the radically divergent philosophies of the ANC, a former liberation movement, and the centrist, business-friendly DA, which received 21% of the vote in the national election—the second-largest percentage after the ANC’s 40%—analysts caution that difficulties may lie ahead.

To start, the DA took issue with the ANC government’s decision to bring a highly sensitive case before the UN Supreme Court, accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza.

The first person to confirm the deal was DA leader John Steenhuisen.

He said, “A deal has been signed, and the DA lawmakers will vote for Ramaphosa for president,” as he left Friday’s sessions to give a speech that was broadcast live on television. “From today, the DA will co-govern the Republic of South Africa in a spirit of unity and collaboration,” he stated.

The Parliament session started at 10 a.m. in the unusual setting of a conference center near Cape Town’s waterfront, after the city’s historic National Assembly building was gutted in a fire in 2022. The house first went through the hours long swearing-in of hundreds of new lawmakers and electing a speaker and a deputy speaker.

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The presidential election took place late at night, and the results weren’t made public until well after 10 p.m. As midnight slipped into Saturday, Ramaphosa concluded his acceptance speech.

The MK Party, led by former president Jacob Zuma, boycotted the meeting, although this had little bearing on the results because a quorum only requires a third of the chamber.

Speaking with anyone else who wished to join the unity government, the ANC was willing to listen, according to Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula. He claimed that the multi-party accord will “prioritize the country across the political and ideological divide.” There are eighteen political groups represented in Parliament.

A few parties declined to participate, among them Malema’s EFF.

The Patriotic Alliance, whose leader, Gayton McKenzie, served a prison sentence for bank robbery, and the Inkatha Freedom Party were the other two parties who signed onto the coalition agreement.

McKenzie claimed that just as he had been granted a second shot at life, South Africa now had one as well—a chance to address its severe socioeconomic issues.

After the election results were announced on June 2, Parliament had to vote on the president within 14 days, giving the ANC a deadline to reach a coalition agreement. The final negotiations for a coalition agreement were held over the course of Thursday and Friday, according to party officials, after the ANC had been trying for two weeks to reach one.

Since the African National Congress (ANC) won the first all-race election in 1994 and put an end to over fifty years of racial segregation, South Africa has not experienced such a high degree of political unpredictability. Since then, starting with Mandela, every leader in South Africa has come from the ANC.

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The new unity administration also had similarities to the 1994 act of reconciliation when the African National Congress (ANC) held the majority and Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first Black president, invited political rivals to join a unity government. In his early political career, Ramaphosa had been instrumental in such negotiations.

The ANC’s hand was forced this time.

Leader of the PA McKenzie remarked, “The ANC has been very magnanimous in that they have accepted defeat and said, ‘let’s talk.”

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