Home Featured Marine Le Pen: 0. Kylian Mbappé: 1. – POLITICO
Marine Le Pen: 0. Kylian Mbappé: 1. – POLITICO

Marine Le Pen: 0. Kylian Mbappé: 1. – POLITICO

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A coalition of the French left grabbed the most seats in the run-off round of the legislative election Sunday, pushing President Emmanuel Macron’s centrists into second place and, in a stunning upset, consigning the hotly tipped far-right National Rally to third place.

“Congratulations to all those who showed up to the danger that was facing our beautiful country,” said forward Marcus Thuram. “Long live diversity, long live the Republic, long live France. The fight goes on.”

Since the Euro 2024 football championship began in mid-June, Les Bleus — surprisingly for an elite sports team — have been outspoken about the rise of the far right in France.

Before the second round of voting, captain and star player Kylian Mbappé said, “We can’t leave our country in the hands of these people,” adding, “We hope … that everyone will mobilize and vote for the right side.”

Le Pen hit back at Mbappé, calling out a “tendency for actors, footballers and singers to come forward and tell French people how they should vote” while being “millionaires and billionaires.” She called on the French athlete to “show restraint” and said, “French people are fed up of being lectured and advised on how to vote.”

Whether or not the footballers influenced the vote, the French team was jubilant as the scale of Le Pen’s defeat (though she added seats compared to previous performances, control of the government remains out of reach) became clear.

On Sunday night, midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni hailed “the people’s victory,” while defender Ibrahima Konaté posted a series of emojis seemingly indicating his pleasure that the far right had been blocked from leading the government.

France, the football team, plays Spain in the semifinal of Euro 2024 on Tuesday night in Munich. France, the country, is likely headed for weeks or months of political paralysis.

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