France's forward Kylian Mbappé celebrates after winning the UEFA Euro 2024 round of 16 football match between France and Belgium at the Düsseldorf Arena in Düsseldorf on July 1, 2024.

French football team captain Kylian Mbappé said, on Thursday, July 4, that it was “really urgent” to vote in the second round of parliamentary elections in the country after the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) emerged as the biggest party in last weekend’s first round.

“I think more than ever we need to go out and vote. We can’t leave our country in the hands of these people,” Mbappé said at a press conference in Hamburg ahead of France’s Euro 2024 quarter-final against Portugal there on Friday. “It is really urgent. We have seen the results, they are catastrophic. I hope it changes and that everyone goes out and votes, and votes for the right people.”

The second round of voting takes place on Sunday, with the RN hoping to win a majority of the 577 seats in France’s Assemblée Nationale. If the party achieves that, their 28-year-old leader Jordan Bardella would be set to become the country’s prime minister.

However, new polls have projected that the RN will fall short of total victory as the center and left have made local pacts aimed at thwarting the far right’s rise to power.

Mbappé has led the voices in the France team at the Euros who have spoken out against the far right. “This is a crucial moment in the history of our country, an unprecedented situation,” Mbappé, 25, said just before France’s opening match at the tournament last month. He added that he was “against extremes and against divisive ideas.”

Le Monde with AFP

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