France had a detailed plan to “protect the Republic” if far-right leader Marine Le Pen was elected president, French media have reported.
“It was like a multi-stage rocket,” an unnamed senior official told l’Obs magazine. “The philosophy, and the absolute imperative, was to keep the peace, while also respecting our constitutional rules.”
L’Obs cited three anonymous sources with knowledge of the emergency plan that would have been put into effect had Le Pen reached the Elysée palace, saying it was devised by a small group of ministers, chiefs of staff and top civil servants.
The magazine said the plan was aimed mainly at preventing serious civil unrest and “freezing” the political situation by convening parliament in emergency session and maintaining the outgoing prime minister in office.
According to The Guardian, news of the plan, which was never written down or given a name, emerged as polls suggested support for the new centrist movement formed by Emmanuel Macron – who defeated Le Pen in the presidential runoff – was growing ahead of parliamentary elections on 11 and 18 June.
The survey showed his La République en Marche party on 32% of the vote, up six points since the May 7 election and well clear of its centre-right Les Républicains rivals on 19%.
A day after Macron unveiled his cabinet – an equal number of men and women from the left, right and centre, plus many newcomers to politics – another poll showed 61% approval for his ministerial choices.
The polls boost Macron’s chances of securing an all-important majority in parliament to implement his promised reforms, although France’s two-round voting system makes it notoriously hard to predict how many seats a party will win.