French PM Gabriel Attal offers resignation, Macron refuses for 'stability' of France

 July 9, 2024

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal offered his resignation to President Emmanuel Macron on Monday after a shock election showed mixed results and no clear majority party, but Macron asked Attal to stay on for stability in the country. 

Forecasters had expected right-wing conservatives to win a majority in the election after the right won a majority in parliamentary elections last month, but instead, a coalition of the Green Party and the left, the New Popular Front (NFP), won a plurality of the votes and beat the right and Macron's center-left.

Without a majority, however, it may be difficult for the NFP to form a government, which will mean political and economic turmoil for France.

Some expected Macron, who is center left, to form a coalition with the far left NFP to govern, but Macron only said that he would "wait for the new National Assembly to organize itself" before deciding what to do.

Bad timing

The French markets initially fell on the election news, but quickly recovered when the NFP-Macron coalition did not materialize.

To add to the drama of the situation, it's a bad time for turmoil in France with the Summer Olympics taking place in Paris in three weeks.

Furthermore, Macron is heading out of town this week for a NATO summit in Washington, D.C.

Attal has only been PM for seven months. It is likely he will be replaced once the government is reorganized.

Totally unprecedented

On Sunday, Attal said he disagreed with Macron's decision to call for a snap election after the results of the European parliamentary elections.

The various factions met on Monday to begin hashing out the new government.

“We are in a situation that is totally unprecedented,” newly elected conservative lawmaker Jean-Didier Berger said.

The factions mostly agree that whatever happens will take time and compromise.

“We need to build compromises, but we need to take time to discuss, to know what we agree on or disagree within the left,” Aurélien Rousseau of the NFP said.

“This is a confusing moment (and) we’re not going to add anxiety, unnecessary division at a moment when we need to find the right path,” Jérôme Guedj of the French Socialists party said about the NFP's refusal to speculate about candidates to eventually replace Attal.

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