Macron asks French prime minister to stay on for the sake of stability

Members of French President Emmanuel Macron’s Cabinet trickled into the presidential palace on Monday after chaotic election results left no political faction with a clear majority.
Prime Minister Gabriel Attal
Prime Minister Gabriel Attal Photo | AP

French President Emmanuel Macron rejected the resignation of Prime Minister Gabriel Attal Monday, in the wake of a chaotic election result that left neither left, right, nor center with a majority in the National Assembly.

A broad left-leaning coalition, the New Popular Front, took the most seats in Sunday’s runoff but fell short of a majority.

It surged ahead of the far-right National Rally, which placed third behind Macron's centrist party. Voter turnout was high.

The outcome leaves France facing the stunning prospect of a hung parliament and threatens political paralysis in a pillar of the European Union and Olympic host country.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal
French vote splits among left, center and far-right; With no majority, political paralysis threatens

The far right drastically increased the number of seats it holds in parliament but fell far short of expectations.

What happens next in this nuclear-armed nation has potential to impact the war in Ukraine, global diplomacy and Europe’s economic stability.

Relief prevails in Germany, government spokesperson says

The government in Germany, which together with France has long been viewed as the engine of European integration, expressed relief Monday that the nationalist far right had not become the strongest party in its key partner country.

“For now, a certain relief prevails that things that we feared have not materialized,” a spokesperson for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told reporters in Berlin. “Only time will tell what happens with this election result and France will decide.”

“The German-French relationship is a very special one,” Steffen Hebestreit added. “It is certainly also the core for the fact that we are experiencing Europe in peace and freedom.”

Macron's Cabinet arrives for post-election meeting

Members of French President Emmanuel Macron’s Cabinet trickled into the presidential palace on Monday after chaotic election results left no political faction with a clear majority.

Among the arrivals late Monday morning were the prime minister named by Macron just seven months ago, and the interior minister.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has said he would offer his resignation Monday but said he would stay “as long as duty requires.” His departure would leave France without a head of government less than three weeks before the start of the Paris Olympics.

Attal on Sunday made clear that he disagreed with Macron’s decision to call the surprise elections. The results of two rounds of voting left no clear path to form a government for either the leftist coalition that came in first, Macron’s centrist alliance, or the far right.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal
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