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Macron's snap election gamble in France resurfaces an old criticism — that he's arrogant and obnoxious

French President Emmanuel Macron's decision to call a snap election after the far-right National Rally party won more than double the votes of his centrist alliance has been greeted with surprise, dismay and more than a little bewilderment.

It has also resurfaced long-standing criticism of Macron, particularly from political commentators and opponents, who see the president as arrogant, ego-driven and, perhaps more worryingly in their eyes, a leader willing to put France's stability on the line in what's being seen as a "huge political gamble."

For his part, Macron said that holding a snap election would provide clarity after the European Parliament elections, in which the NR party won around 31% of the vote, more than double the 14.6% for the centrist, pro-European alliance that included Macron's Renaissance Party.

In a national address Sunday evening as he announced his decision to dissolve parliament, Macron told the electorate that he had "heard" their concerns and would "not leave them unanswered ... France needs a clear majority to act in serenity and harmony," he added. The first round of voting will take place on June 30, with a second to be held on July 7.

Analysts said Macron's decision was likely a tactical gamble, with the president hopeful that 1) the European parliamentary election drubbing was the result of a protest vote rather than deeper dissatisfaction with his leadership and 2) that the prospect of a far-right power grab will mobilize the centrist electorate to vote for his party to prevent NR from obtaining an absolute majority in the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament.

He is also believed to be hoping that, even if NR performs well and he has to appoint a member of the party as prime