Ever since the announcement of the dissolution of the French National Assembly by President Emmanuel Macron, the country has fallen into a political crisis.(Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)


Will courts postpone France’s general election?


The French Constitutional Council has been asked to rule on the constitutional legality of France’s general election.

Legal experts in electoral law filed an appeal with the French Constitutional Council on June 11 to overturn Macron’s decision to call a snap vote.

“The sincerity of the ballot is called into question by the impossibility of complying with certain legislative provisions within such a short timeframe,” said one of the plaintiffs.

“What is being criticised are problems with the deadline, which will make the elections too short,” they said.

According to Article 12 of the French Constitution, invoked by the French President, the election must be held between 20 and 40 days after the announcement.

In mainland France, the first round of voting will take place on June 30, following the dissolution of the National Assembly on June 9, thus respecting the required timeframe.

For the Association for the Defence of Constitutional Freedoms: “The decision to hold the first round on Sunday, June 30 seriously undermines the sincerity of the ballot.”

In French overseas territories, French citizens are set to vote earlier than on the mainland. They would therefore not meet the 20-to-40-day deadline imposed by the Constitution.

The plaintiffs demanded that the Constitutional Council reschedule the elections.

Another appeal has been filed by France’s hard-left party, La France Insoumise.

Its members accuse Macron of wanting an election “without the people.”

When he called for the snap French elections, the President closed the possibility of new registrations on the electoral rolls by decree.

According to the French interior minister Gérald Darmanin, the election will take place based on the electoral lists drawn up on the date of the decree, meaning there is no additional period for registering.

For La France Insoumise, that does not respect the integrity of the vote.

“This is dangerous. Emmanuel Macron is depriving millions of people of their right to vote, while only popular mobilisation can defeat the far-right,” the party said.

Since French President Emmanuel Macron announced the dissolution of the French National Assembly, the country has fallen into a political crisis.

The Constitutional Council had previously been called upon, in 1981 and 1988, to denounce tight deadlines following the dissolution of the National Assembly. On both occasions, the Council rejected the appeals, ruling that the Constitution had been respected.