French PM Gabriel Attal resigns


France’s Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said he would offer his resignation to President Emmanuel Macron yesterday after his party failed to win a majority in parliamentary elections.

But he added that, if his resignation is refused, he was ready to remain in office “as long as duty demands”, with the Paris Olympics due to begin in three weeks, reports AFP.

Meanwhile, an alliance of French left-wing parties was on course yesterday to become the biggest parliamentary bloc by beating the far right and President Emmanuel Macron’s coalition, according to surprise projected results.

No one group won an absolute majority in the poll, plunging France into political limbo with no clear path to forming a new government, two days before a major NATO summit and three weeks before the Paris Olympics.

Attal said he would offer Macron his resignation on Monday but was ready to serve “as long as duty demands”, notably in light of the imminent Games.

The New Popular Front (NFP) — formed last month after Macron called snap elections — brought together the previously deeply-divided Socialists, Greens, Communists and the hard-left France Unbowed together in one camp.

Nevertheless, veteran presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN) led the race after the June 30 first round of voting, with opinion polls predicting that she would lead the biggest party in parliament after Sunday’s run-off.

But projections based on vote samples by four major polling agencies on Sunday showed no group on course for an absolute majority and the left-wing NFP ahead of both Macron’s centrist Ensemble and Le Pen’s eurosceptic, anti-immigration RN.

Macron, who has yet to speak in public about the projections, is calling for “prudence and analysis of the results”, said an aide, asking not to be named.

Le Pen, for her part, declared: “The tide is rising. It did not rise high enough this time, but it continues to rise and, consequently, our victory has only been delayed.”

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