French President, Emmanuel Macron, has rejected a resignation offer from the Prime Minister he appointed, saying instead that the government must “stay on task and act”.
Elisabeth Borne was criticised by some commentators after Mr. Macron’s coalition lost its majority position in the National Assembly on Sunday, June 19, 2022. Her future seemed to be under threat after the result, which left the President needing to secure support from rivals.
Mr. Macron is meeting his political opponents for rare talks on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. But neither Marine Le Pen’s far-right nor Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s left-green alliance are keen to work with Mr. Macron’s centrist government, which is 44 seats shy of a majority and desperately in need of that upper hand to avoid political paralysis.
The Resignation & the French Tradition
The Élysée Presidential Palace stated that Mrs. Borne formally offered to resign on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, morning, after submitting a letter to Mr. Macron, who is the head of state, but turned it down.
Mr. Macron refused the offer “so that the government can remain on task and act”, the Élysée Palace noted, adding that he would seek “constructive solutions” to end the deadlock that threatens his agenda during his second term.
It is customary for the French Prime Minister to offer to resign following parliamentary elections. Often, the President will simply reappoint the same person so that he or she can begin constructing a new government. But the situation is different this time, as Mr. Macron is telling Mrs. Borne to stay in office with the same cabinet without resigning.
Analysts’ Forecast on the Matter
Analysts speaking on the matter suggested that it is probably an effort to buy time, adding that at some point, a new government will be formed which may or may not have Mrs. Borne at its head. Meanwhile, party representatives will visit the Élysée Palace for high-level talks on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, and Wednesday, June 22, 2022.
Analysts are of the view that the President may be eyeing a deal with the right-wing Republicans. The party confirmed that its leader, Christian Jacob, would attend the talks. But prospects of a deal appeared dim in the run-up to the talks, as Mr. Jacob hit out at Macron in an interview with a France-based radio station, saying that “He’s the one who’s been arrogant and now he calls for help”.
“We are very clear on our stance; we are in the opposition to Emmanuel Macron and will remain there.”Right-wing Republican leader, Christian Jacob
According to media reports, Mrs. Le Pen will take part but Mr. Mélenchon will not. Socialist Party Leader, Olivier Faure, and Communist Party boss, Fabien Roussel, members of the Nupes left-wing alliance, will also meet Mr. Macron.
The Effects no Clear Majority
Having no clear majority in the National Assembly is likely to make it far harder for Mr. Macron to implement his agenda during his second five-year term.
He has laid out a series of plans to tackle the spiralling cost of living, including food vouchers and enhanced benefits. Another big reform is gradually raising the retirement age from 62 to 65, which proved unpopular with much of the electorate. As a result, opponents from the right and left aim to resist the President’s programme of reforms, although Mrs. Le Pen’s National Rally said it may back measures to alleviate the cost of living crisis if their own proposals are adopted.