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France Prez Macron rejects PM Attal’s resignation; Left coalition head says “ready to govern”

Jean-Luc Melenchon (left), French President Emmanuel Macron (centre) and Marine Le Pen (Photo credits: Reuters)

France President Emmanuel Macron, whose centrist alliance came in the second place after the New Popular Front’s Left Wing coalition in the runoff to parliamentary elections, on Monday asked his Prime Minister Gabriel Attal to stay in his post for now, CNN reported citing a source from the Elysee presidential palace.

Attal posted a selfie on his X platform just before heading out to offer his resignation, which was rejected by Macron, “for the time being in order to ensure the country’s stability.”

Results from the elections showed New Popular Front emerging winner with 182 seats making it the largest group but well short of the 289 required for an absolute majority. Macron’s Ensemble alliance won 163 seats and took second place while Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally and its allies were relegated to third place with 143 seats.

Also, former French President Francois Hollande, who governed the country for one term from 2012 to 2017, has been elected as the member of the French parliament for Correze, which he represented in the 1980s and 1990s, CNN reported.

“Although the formation of a government will now be very complicated, I think it is very good how the center and center-left parties and the left spectrum have worked together to prevent France from drifting into nationalism and Europe from getting into even more difficult waters,” he said.

According to CNN, Macron is unable to call a new election for at least another year. With three more years left of his term, President Macron looks set to preside over an unruly parliament, as problems mount at home and abroad, the US media channel analysed.

The New Popular Front (NFP) a cluster of several parties including from the far-left France Unbowed party to the more moderate Socialists and the Ecologists — won 182 seats in the National Assembly, making it the largest group but well short of the 289 required for an absolute majority.

The results of the elections were welcomed by other leaders in Europe.

Germany’s Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said he is “thoroughly relieved” after the far right failed to win an outright majority in the French National Assembly.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez hailed the victory. “This week, two of the largest countries in Europe have chosen the same path that Spain chose a year ago: rejection of the extreme right and a decisive commitment to a social left that addresses people’s problems with serious and brave policies,” Sanchez wrote in a post on X.

“The United Kingdom and France have said YES to progress and social advancement and NO to the regression in rights and freedoms. There is no agreement or government with the extreme right,” Sanchez said.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni had earlier last week congratulated the National Rally’s performance in the first round.

Meanwhile, France’s left-wing leader Jean-Luc Melenchon has said that the Left is “ready to govern” after emerging as the largest political bloc in parliament. The New Popular Front (NFP) coalition is led by Melenchon and its allies.