France will hold snap elections just weeks before the Paris Olympics
France will hold snap elections just weeks before the Paris Olympics AFP News

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo described the prospect of French parliamentary elections just weeks before the start of the Paris Olympics as "extremely unsettling", while the International Olympic Committee played down any direct impact on the event.

"Like a lot of people I was stunned to hear the president decide to do a dissolution (of parliament)," she said of Macron's surprise address to the nation after European parliament elections on Sunday.

Hidalgo said she was "worried" by the election results -- which saw the far-right National Rally party inflict a heavy defeat on Macron's centrist allies -- and said that Macron "could not continue as before".

"But all the same, a dissolution just before the Games, it's really something that is extremely unsettling," the 64-year-old Socialist, a domestic political rival of the president, added during a visit to a Paris school.

The two-round parliamentary elections have been called for June 30 and July 7, with the Paris Olympics set to begin less than three weeks later on July 26.

The vote could lead to political instability in the event of another hung parliament in which no party wins a majority, or a seismic change if the far-right National Rally party of Marine Le Pen makes major gains.

Hidalgo stressed that from an operational perspective the election would not change the Olympics, a message echoed by the president of the IOC, Thomas Bach, who was with her during the school visit.

"I think that all the work of installing, of preparing the Games, the infrastructure, is behind us and what remains is to welcome the entire world and we will do it with the joy that we have to host these Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris," Hidalgo said.

Bach said the elections are "a democratic process which will not disturb the Olympics".

"France is used to doing elections and they are going to do them once again. We will have a new government and a new parliament and everyone is going to support the Olympics," Bach said.

The Paris Olympics open with an unprecedented ceremony on the river Seine on July 26, the first time the opening festivities for a Summer Olympics have taken place outside the main stadium.