The far right makes big gains in the French parliamentary election first round, according to exit polls.

  • Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party: 34%

  • New Popular Front: 28.5%

  • French President Macron's centrist Ensemble alliance: 20.3%

  • Republicans: 10.2%

Never before has the far right won the first round of a French parliamentary election. The simple fact that it has become possible is historic, veteran commentator Alain Duhamel told the BBC. “The vote moves France closer to a potential nationalist government, a move that would send a shockwave across Europe,” the FT said. Greeting the results, Le Pen said: “The French have expressed their desire to turn the page on seven years of government that treated them with disdain.”


Estonia's ruling center-right Reform Party has chosen Climate Minister Kristen Michal to replace outgoing leader Kaja Kallas as prime minister of the Baltic country. The unanimous decision to nominate Michal was made following a closed-door meeting by the party's governing board, only two days after the European Union tapped Kallas to become the bloc's new foreign policy chief. Kallas, Estonia's first female prime minister since January 2021, currently heads a three-party coalition government. Under her leadership, the Reform Party won overwhelmingly the March 2023 general election. She has proposed an extraordinary party meeting to elect her replacement as a party chairman on July 14, with Michal expected to take over after his main rival Defense Minister and former Prime Minister Hanno Pevkur bowed out Friday. Michal's nomination for Estonia's top job will then have to be approved by President Alar Karis and the 101-seat Riigikogu, or Parliament, where the coalition holds a comfortable majority. He has been serving as the minister for climate affairs since April last year. - VOA

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Sunday presented a new alliance with Austria's far-right Freedom Party and the main Czech opposition party, which hopes to attract other partners and become the biggest hard right-wing group in the European Parliament. Orbán travelled to Vienna to present the “Patriots for Europe” alliance of his Fidesz party with Herbert Kickl's far-right Freedom Party and the former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis's ANO party, a day before Hungary takes over the European Union’s rotating presidency for six months. The European Parliament elections in early June strengthened far-right parties, though their performances varied from country to country, but left unclear to what extent they would manage to work together. Until now, they have been spread across two groups in the EU legislature, plus a large number of unaligned parties. “What Europeans want is three things: peace, order and development,” Orbán said through an interpreter at Sunday's event. “And what they are getting from the elite in Brussels today is war, migration and stagnation.” But the three partiers will need to attract lawmakers from at least four more EU countries to successfully form a group in the new parliament. All three parties are pro-Russian; none of them support Ukraine in its fight against Russia which launched a full-scale invasion in 2022 - Euronews


More than 70 percent of voters believe President Biden does not have the mental health to serve a second term as president, a notable increase from previous polls after a poor debate performance last week. The CBS News poll published Sunday found that 72 percent of respondents don’t believe Biden’s health is adequate to serve as president, while just 27 percent believe it is. That’s a noted increase from a poll last month, when 65 percent of respondents said Biden wasn’t healthy enough, to 35 percent saying he was. Biden’s first debate performance raised alarmswith some Democrats and supporters. The president, at times, showed difficulty stringing ideas together and overall appeared tired. A rising number of Democratic voters, including some unnamed lawmakers, have called on Biden to step aside and allow a different candidate to take the party’s nomination. - The Hill

Another Nova Poshta terminal in Kharkiv has been struck by a Russian missile. It’s at least the third known strike on the Ukrainian company’s facilities since October: one in Odesa and now another in Kharkiv. Nova Poshta is a hugely successful private mail service in Ukraine similar to FedEx (but wildly more efficient and adored)


A backbench MP has become the first sitting member of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party caucus to call on him to resign, after a disastrous by-election defeat. Wayne Long said new leadership was needed “for the future of our party and for the good of our country” in an email to fellow party members that was obtained by Canadian media outlets. Mr Long, who represents a riding in the province of New Brunswick, wrote “the voters have spoken loud and clear and they want a change”. It follows a catastrophic result for Liberals in a by-election on Monday, when they lost a Toronto seat they had held since 1993. Mr Long has served as MP since 2015 and previously said he would not be seeking re-election. According to the National Post, Newfoundland MP Ken McDonald replied all to Mr Long's email, saying: "well said!" In recent days former Liberal politicians have also called on Mr Trudeau to step down. Among them was Catherine McKenna, who served as environment minister under Mr Trudeau from 2015-19. - BBC

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