Macron refuses French PM’s resignation

Gabriel Attal should remain in office temporarily to ensure stability after shock elections, the Elysee Palace has said

French President Emmanuel Macron has refused to accept the resignation of Prime Minister Gabriel Attal following the second round of national elections that left France with a hung parliament and no clear candidate to replace him.

The New Popular Front (NFP), which unites various leftist parties, cruised to a surprise victory in Sunday voting, claiming 182 seats in the National Assembly, according to the Interior Ministry. Macron’s centrist Ensemble alliance recovered after a poor performance in the first round and got 163 seats.

The rightist National Rally (RN), which was considered the favorite after trouncing Macron’s bloc in the first round, came third, with 143 seats. However, none of the groups was able to clinch the 289 seats required for an absolute majority in the legislature.

Macron’s office said in a statement on Monday that “the president has asked Gabriel Attal to remain prime minister for the time being in order to ensure the country’s stability.”

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French election results trigger riots (VIDEOS)

Riots occurred in Paris, Rennes and several other cities after the polls closed, with masked mobs tossing bottles at the police and setting bonfires in the streets. Officers used tear gas to disperse the angry crowds.

The snap election in France took place just three weeks before the 2024 Summer Olympic Games kick off in the capital.

Attal said on Sunday that after Macron’s coalition lost the election, “in keeping with republican tradition, I will tender my resignation to the president of the Republic tomorrow morning.”

However, the PM stressed that he would remain in the job “as long as duty requires” if his resignation is turned down. “Being prime minister is the honor of my life,” the 35-year-old said.

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Attal was appointed PM this January, becoming the youngest and the first openly gay head of government in French history. He previously served as the Minister of National Education and Youth, the Minister of Public Action and Accounts and as spokesman for the government of France.

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