Europe

Macron rejects premier's resignation as France grapples with gov't crisis

President begins consultations with opposition party heads for way out of impasse as no bloc has parliamentary majority

Shweta Desai   | 21.06.2022
Macron rejects premier's resignation as France grapples with gov't crisis

PARIS

After failing to win an absolute majority in the country's recent legislative elections, France's President Emmanuel Macron rejected premier Elisabeth Borne's resignation on Tuesday in a bid to keep the government functioning, according to the announcement from the Elysee.

Macron refused Borne's resignation "so that the government can remain on task and act in these days," a BFMTV news report said, quoting a statement from the Presidential office.

Traditionally, the term of the incumbent government ends a day after the legislative elections, during which the prime minister hands over a courtesy resignation to the President, according to the government's website. A new government by the winning party then takes over.

However, no party emerged from the second round of voting on Sunday with an absolute majority, leading to a fragmented parliament.

Macron's Ensemble (Together) alliance came out in the lead with 245 seats but fell short of the 289 it needed. The left-wing political coalition, NUPES (New Ecological and Social Popular Union) got 131 seats, while the far-right Marine Le Pen's National Rally obtained 89.

To secure majority legislative support, Macron has two possible options: Either form an alliance with opposition parties or dissolve the assembly and call for fresh elections. Both options are risky to carry forward his government's second-term agenda on key issues like energy, economic, financial, and security reforms that the opposition parties oppose.

Crisis has also befallen the newly formed NUPES, which includes the La France Insoumise party, as well as the Socialist Party, French Communist Party, Europe Ecology - The Greens (EELV), and other smaller parties, after individual party leaders rejected founder Jean-Luc Melenchon's proposal to form a common parliamentary group united in opposition to Macron's party. If the NUPES crumbles, Le Pen's far-right lawmakers will be the most powerful opposition force in parliament.

Macron has begun political consultations with the leaders of the main political parties in the hopes of reaching a breakthrough, with talks expected to continue on Wednesday. Officials from the Elysee said the head of state would try to "identify possible constructive solutions in the service of the French," according to the BFMTV report.

Borne will also meet Macron, along with those members of the current government that retained their parliamentary seats and are eligible to continue in ministerial office.

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