French President Macron rejects PM Attal's resignation; leftist coalition chief says “ready to govern”

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
4 Min Read

French President Emmanuel Macron, whose centrist coalition came in second behind the leftist New Popular Front alliance in the second round of parliamentary elections, on Monday asked his Prime Minister Gabriel Attal to remain in his post for the time being, CNN reported, citing a source at the Elysee presidential palace.

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Attal posted a selfie on his X platform just before offering his resignation, which Macron rejected “for the time being to ensure the stability of the country”.

The election results showed the New Popular Front emerged victorious with 182 seats, making it the largest grouping but well short of the 289 seats needed for an absolute majority. Macron's Ensemble coalition won 163 seats and came in second, while Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally and its allies slipped to third place with 143 seats.

Additionally, former French President Francois Hollande, who ruled the country for one term from 2012 to 2017, has been elected as a member of the French Parliament for Corrèze, which he represented in the 1980s and 1990s, CNN reported.

“Although the formation of a government will now be very complicated, I think it is a great thing that the centre and centre-left parties and the left-wing spectrum have worked together to stop France from sliding towards nationalism and to stop Europe from heading into even more difficult waters,” he said.

According to CNN, Macron may not announce new elections for at least a year. The US media channel analysed that with three more years left in his term, President Macron is set to preside over an unruly parliament, as problems mount at home and abroad.

The New Popular Front (NFP) – a grouping of parties ranging from the far-left France Unbowed party to the more moderate Socialists and Ecologists – won 182 seats in the National Assembly, making it the largest grouping but falling far short of the 289 seats needed for an absolute majority.

The election results were also welcomed by other European leaders.

German Deputy Chancellor Robert Habeck said he was “absolutely relieved” after the right-wing party failed to win an absolute majority in the French National Assembly.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez hailed the victory. “This week, Europe’s two largest countries have chosen the same path that Spain chose a year ago: a rejection of the extreme right and a decisive commitment to a social left that addresses people’s problems with serious and courageous policies,” Sanchez wrote in a post on X.

“The United Kingdom and France have said yes to progress and social advancement and no to a decline in rights and freedoms,” Sanchez said. There is no pact or government with the extreme right.

Italian Prime Minister Giordano Meloni congratulated the National Rally for its performance in the first round last week.

Meanwhile, French left-wing leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon has said the left is “ready to govern” after emerging as the largest political bloc in parliament. The New Popular Front (NFP) coalition is led by Mélenchon and his allies.

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