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President Emmanuel Macron denied on Monday (8) the resignation request of Prime Minister Gabriel Attal. Macron asked for his fellow party member to remain in order to “guarantee the stability of the country”, announced the Elysée Palace.

After the publication of the second round projections, Attal went to the press to announce his departure from the post of prime minister.

“Tonight, the political party I represented in this campaign (…) does not have a majority. Therefore, faithful to republican tradition and in accordance with my principles, I will present my resignation to the President of the Republic tomorrow morning,” he declared on the steps of the Matignon Hotel, the official residence of the French Prime Minister.

Attal arrived at the Élysée Palace late Monday morning and presented his resignation letter to the French president. Macron was accompanied by several ministers of state, such as Gérald Darmanin (Interior) and Stéphane Séjourné (Foreign Affairs), both re-elected deputies in the new National Assembly.

The president justified his request by claiming he needed to guarantee political stability in France amid the Paris Olympic Games, which begin on July 26.

This Sunday (7), the second round of the legislative elections gave a surprising victory to the New Popular Front (NFP, in the French acronym), a coalition of left-wing parties and social movements, with 182 seats in the National Assembly. The coalition led by Macron, Juntos, the liberal right classified by the major media outlets as “center”, obtained 162 seats, no longer having a parliamentary majority.

Read also: Left-wing front prevents far-right victory in France

The National Rally (RN, in its French acronym), a far-right party led by Marine Le Pen and her protégé Jordan Bardella, won 143 seats.

Neither of the three blocs achieved an absolute majority in the National Assembly, which is likely to put France in a potentially dangerous political impasse.

After the announcement of the first results on Sunday, the leader of France Insoumise, the main party of the NFP, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, ordered Gabriel Attal to “go away” and declared that the NFP must “govern”. “The defeat of the President of the Republic and his coalition is clearly confirmed. The President must bow down and admit this defeat without trying to get around it in any way,” Jean-Luc Mélenchon stressed.

Ecologist party leader Marine Tondelier, who is also a member of the NFP, said Macron “should call the left today” “to ask for the name of the new prime minister.” Socialist Olivier Faure, for his part, hoped the NFP “could present a candidacy” for Matignon, the seat of the National Assembly, “within a week.”

On the Macronist side, elected deputy François Bayrou, leader of the Democratic Movement (MoDem, in its French acronym), which is part of Juntos, the presidential coalition, considered it “possible” to build a majority without Mélenchon’s France Insoumise, considered as radical as the far right by the liberal right.

The bet by the political camp led by Macron that the New Popular Front could split to form a majority with the Juntos was rejected by Tondelier. “Those who explain to us that they will form a majority without the France Insoumise did not have the same math teachers as I did. I don’t see how that is possible,” said the leader of the Ecologists.

Read also: Lula and world leaders congratulate left-wing victory in France


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