The Cable

En Marche Moves Forward, Trump Goes Back to Cuba: The Weekend Behind, the Week Ahead

What you might have missed in the days behind, and what to watch in the days to come.

macron leg

French President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche party swept the first round of French parliamentary elections, winning 28 percent of the vote, well above the 12.5 percent needed to advance to the second round — and enough for experts to say the president’s party, roughly a year old, is on track to have a parliamentary majority.

Some — notably, the far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the far-right Marine Le Pen — complained about voter abstention. And, at under 50 percent, voter turnout was indeed low. But it was mostly Mélenchon and Le Pen’s voters who stayed away from the polls. And those who turned out did not seem any more enthusiastic about traditional political parties than they did in the presidential election, where both the center-left and center-right parties fared poorly, but did seem willing to give Macron a chance be the change they wish to see in France if empowered by parliamentary support. The exact number of seats will be determined in the run-off round next Sunday.

Across the channel, British Prime Minister Theresa May continued to deal with the fallout from last week’s snap elections, appointing political rival Michael Gove to be environment secretary (a seemingly odd choice, given that he’s on record saying wildlife protection should be slashed and tried to get climate change removed from school curricula), getting rid of former advisors Fiona Hill and and Nick Timothy, and reportedly fending off a leadership challenge from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, despite WhatsApp messages to the contrary.

Someone who may not be walking down Downing Street any time soon: President Donald Trump, who British media says has postponed his visit to the United Kingdom until he can be sure he won’t be greeted with large protests, a difficult guarantee to make, given that British citizens have a right to free assembly, and that Trump is wildly unpopular there.

And so Trump will, for now, stay stateside, where he is expected to reverse former President Barack Obama’s policy on engagement with Cuba this Friday in Miami.

Photo credit: Axel Schmidt/Getty Images

Emily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy covering ambassadorial and diplomatic affairs in Washington. @emilyctamkin

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