Macron asks French PM to stay amid government uncertainty

French President Emmanuel Macron has requested his Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, to remain in his role “for the time being to ensure stability” following a closely contested parliamentary election that left no party with a clear majority. Despite Macron’s Ensemble alliance losing seats, it placed second, surpassing expectations for the far-right National Rally (RN). This unexpected outcome has plunged French politics into a stalemate, with no single party able to form a governing coalition.

The left-wing New Popular Front, which emerged as the largest bloc in the new National Assembly, asserts its right to nominate a prime minister. However, finding consensus among its diverse factions, including the radical France Unbowed and more moderate Socialists, Greens, and Communists, poses a challenge.

Attal had initially tendered his resignation after Sunday’s election results, but Macron declined it during their meeting on Monday morning at the Élysée Palace. Macron emphasized the need for calm as he prepares to attend a NATO summit in the US and France gears up to host the Olympic Games later this month.

The financial markets are wary, with outgoing Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warning of immediate economic risks following the election outcome. Macron has refrained from immediate political involvement, stating he will await a clearer parliamentary landscape before making further decisions.

Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella of the RN, despite receiving substantial voter support, fell short of their goal to secure a parliamentary majority. They criticized strategic withdrawals by rival candidates aimed at blocking RN’s electoral gains.

Looking forward, Le Pen expressed confidence in future electoral success, citing the party’s growing influence. Bardella plans to lead a new European Parliament group called Patriots for Europe, aligned with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, which aims to assert a nationalist agenda within the EU presidency.

Macron’s decision to retain Attal underscores his strategy to navigate France through a period of political uncertainty, emphasizing stability amid broader European and domestic challenges.

Source: BBC

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