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French President Macron Retains Prime Minister For Country’s Stability Following Chaotic Election

Paris, France – In a surprising move, French President Emmanuel Macron declined Prime Minister Gabriel Attal’s resignation, asking him to stay on temporarily after tumultuous election results plunged the government into uncertainty. French voters split the legislature between the left, center, and far-right factions, with none securing a majority, raising fears of political paralysis in the EU’s second-largest economy.

Macron had hoped that calling snap elections would clarify the political landscape. Instead, the results, just weeks before the Paris Olympics, have left the government more fragmented than ever. France’s main share index dipped initially but recovered, possibly due to market relief over avoiding outright victories by the far-right or the leftist coalition.

Prime Minister Attal, appointed seven months ago, offered his resignation but was asked by Macron to remain to maintain stability. Attal had previously expressed disagreement with Macron’s decision to call the elections, which resulted in no clear path to forming a government for any faction.

As newly elected and returning lawmakers convene at the National Assembly to negotiate, Macron prepares to attend a NATO summit in Washington. The political deadlock could impact global diplomacy, the war in Ukraine, and Europe’s economic stability. Prime Minister Donald Tusk of Poland noted the mixed reactions across Europe, from enthusiasm in Paris to disappointment in Moscow and relief in Kyiv.

Official results indicate the New Popular Front leftist coalition secured just over 180 seats, Macron’s centrist alliance more than 160, and Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally over 140 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly. Macron, with three years left in his term, faces a challenging political landscape.

Attal’s resignation announcement highlighted his disapproval of Macron’s decision to dissolve the previous National Assembly, where the president’s alliance was the largest group without an absolute majority. The election results reflected public frustration over inflation, crime, immigration, and Macron’s leadership style.

The New Popular Front is pushing for the opportunity to form a government, promising to reverse many of Macron’s reforms, increase public spending, and adopt a tougher stance against Israel. However, internal disagreements could complicate their efforts to form a consensus government.

Macron warned that the left’s economic proposals could be detrimental to France, already under scrutiny for its debt levels. The current political situation, with no clear majority, is unprecedented in modern France.

Supporters of the left celebrated in Paris as the results were announced, expressing relief and optimism. The political alliance between the left and center successfully blocked the National Rally, with many voters prioritizing keeping the far-right out of power.

Despite the setbacks, far-right leader Marine Le Pen remains optimistic about future elections. The campaign was marred by racism, antisemitism, Russian disinformation, and physical attacks on over 50 candidates, which is unusual for France.

In a country unaccustomed to coalition governments and with a highly centralized decision-making process, the current political deadlock poses significant challenges for the future.

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