Can Emmanuel Macron refuse Gabriel Attal’s resignation after the results are announced?

Can Emmanuel Macron refuse Gabriel Attal’s resignation after the results are announced?
Can Emmanuel Macron refuse Gabriel Attal’s resignation after the results are announced?

The second largest force in the Assembly, the presidential majority, failed to impose itself at the polls, beaten in particular by the New Popular Front. Direct consequence: Gabriel Attal announced that he would present his resignation to the head of state, while saying that he was ready to remain at Matignon “as long as duty requires”.

A resignation, but from when? Less than two hours after the announcement of the results of the legislative elections and the victory of the New Popular Front, Gabriel Attal announced that he will present his resignation to the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron on Monday, July 8.

“This evening, the political party that I represented in this campaign (…) does not have a majority. Thus, faithful to the republican tradition and in accordance with my principles, I will submit my resignation to the President of the Republic tomorrow morning,” he declared on the steps of Matignon.

But can Emmanuel Macron refuse his resignation? Yes, if we read Article 8 of the Constitution, which specifies the conditions for appointing a Prime Minister. “The President of the Republic appoints the Prime Minister. He terminates his functions upon the latter’s presentation of the Government’s resignation,” it says.

Moreover, Emmanuel Macron has already refused the resignation of a Prime Minister the day after an election. In June 2022, two days after the legislative elections, the President of the Republic did not validate the resignation of Elisabeth Borne and asked her to stay at Matignon.

Macron “will wait for the structuring of the new National Assembly”

Even though no agreement had been reached with Les Républicains, Elisabeth Borne had remained at Matignon for more than a year and a half and had succeeded, despite a relative majority, in passing the pension reform thanks to article 49.3 of the Constitution.

The situation is different for Gabriel Attal: the presidential coalition did not come out on top in the second round and will have around 160 deputies, according to estimates by Elabe for BFMTV.

However, the one who was re-elected in Hauts-de-Seine could stay at Matignon for some time. While France “prepares to welcome the world in a few weeks” for the Olympic Games, “I will obviously assume my functions for as long as duty requires”, he anticipated this Sunday.

Emmanuel Macron could also wait for the final composition of the National Assembly before doing without the services of Gabriel Attal. “The President of the Republic is currently taking note of the results of these legislative elections as they are reported, constituency by constituency,” the Elysée Palace told BFMTV.

“In accordance with republican tradition, he will wait for the structuring of the new National Assembly to take the necessary decisions,” explains the presidency.

And he added: “The president, in his role as guarantor of our institutions, will ensure that the sovereign choice of the French people is respected.” The entourage of the head of state also called for “caution” in analyzing the results. According to him, they do not answer the question of “‘who to govern’.”

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