French Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne submitted her resignation to President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, but he did not accept it. Bourne tendered her resignation after a dramatic parliamentary election in which Macron’s coalition lost an outright majority.
Bourne only began serving as prime minister last month. It is customary in France for the prime minister to leave after such a heavy political defeat. Born is the second female prime minister in France and the first in thirty years.
Many members of Macron’s government see their positions under pressure due to the election results. For example, Environment Minister Amelie de Montchalin and Deputy Minister for Europe Clement Bonn lost the election battle in the region they came from. It is common for French ministers to resign when that happens.
Macron rejects Born’s resignation because he wants the government to “continue to carry out its duties” after the election defeat. His party bloc fell in the last parliamentary elections from 350 to 245 seats in the National Assembly, the French Chamber of Deputies. As a result, he will have to look for new members of the coalition or partners in tolerance, but this will be a difficult search.
Christian Jacob, the leader of the centre-right Republicans, which won 61 seats, said his party is still in the opposition. Olivier Faurie said the same on behalf of the Socialists. It is almost impossible for Macron to be able to reach an agreement with the largest opposition party. The radical left-wing NUPES party, led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and the right-wing Racamplehem led by Marine Le Pen, are the most vocal opponents of the current government’s policies.
Bourne should help Macron with his reform agenda
Bourne, 61, advised several Socialist Party ministers earlier in her career. Her knowledge of French unions should help the president push ahead with reforms, including Macron’s most controversial electoral promise: raising the retirement age.
She became the Minister of Transport in 2017, after being the Minister of the Environment. As prime minister, she will also be tasked with ensuring that all government decisions align with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
By appointing Bourne, Macron attempted to thwart his great rival, Melenchon. Born is a member of the center-left TDP party, which is linked to Macron’s coalition. Melenchon is trying to unite with the left-wing parties against Macron. In the presidential election, the leaders of these parties together received 27 percent of the vote.
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