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Left-wing alliance takes shape in France ahead of Parliament elections
Ryan Thompson in Paris
Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the left-wing opposition party La France Insoumise (France Unbowed - LFI), speaking during the May Day march in Paris on Sunday. Reuters/Sarah Meyssonnier

Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the left-wing opposition party La France Insoumise (France Unbowed - LFI), speaking during the May Day march in Paris on Sunday. Reuters/Sarah Meyssonnier

Opposition parties are on track to form a left-wing coalition in France's parliament that could make President Emmanuel Macron's second term more politically challenging. 

France Unbowed (LFI), the party of Jean Luc Melenchon, who came third in France's presidential election, has agreed to a historic agreement with France's Green party (EELV). Just days earlier, LFI signed a similar accord with the smaller Generation S party.  

Though voters gave Macron a substantial majority of votes during the second round of France's presidential election, many said that didn't necessarily mean they would cast their ballot for his party during legislative elections in June.  

Melenchon placed better than expected during the first-round vote, and is hoping to carry on his unexpected popularity to unite the left-wing.  

"We can call it a historic deal, which is first factually true - there has never been, in history, a deal between the Green party and France Unbowed on the national level for the parliamentary election,” said Manuel Bompared, a spokesperson for Melenchon's campaign who was part of consultations.  

"I think it's historic because it kickstarts the start of a dynamic whose goal is to make sure that we get into this parliamentary election with the mindset of having a majority. The goal is to ensure that we win this parliamentary election to put in place a shared program," he added.  

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Melenchon has vowed to become the nation's next prime minister and form a so-called "great union of the left.”  

As the man controlling the legislative agenda of France's government, he would almost certainly oppose many of Macron's policies.  

Campaign promises like pension reform and inflation bonuses could be off the table.  

It's unusual – but not unknown – for this type of power split to happen in France when the president and the prime minister come from different parties. The last so-called cohabitation government was over 20 years ago. 

The left-wing union is expected to continue meeting other parties that may be interested over the next few weeks – but even with a handful of political groups on board, just how powerful the alliance is will depend on the results of June's election. 

Cover picture: Protesters walk in front of posters which read "Melenchon Prime Minister" during the traditional May Day labour union march in Paris on Sunday. Reuters/Sarah Meyssonnier/File Photo

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