Resignation attempts, gloom as Macron camp weighs fallout of election gamble

  12 June 2024    Read: 595
Resignation attempts, gloom as Macron camp weighs fallout of election gamble

When French President Emmanuel Macron told his young prime minister of his decision to call a snap election just hours before announcing it on television, Gabriel Attal tried to dissuade his boss, asking him to accept his resignation instead, Reuters reported.

"I can be the fall guy," Attal implored Macron, after his efforts at dissuasion went nowhere, according to a minister and another government source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Macron declined Attal's offer, and a few hours later, as exit polls showed Marine Le Pen's National Rally (RN) trouncing his ticket, he dissolved parliament.

The resignation bid by Attal, initialy reported by Le Monde newspaper and other French media, underlines how Macron's shock decision to bet the house on snap elections was not universally applauded by his camp and threatened to prematurely curtail their political project. Attal's office did not respond to a request for comment.

The 34-year-old Attal, France's youngest ever prime minister when he took office in January, has been mooted as a potential Macron successor in 2027, but now risks losing his job to the RN's 28-year-old party president Jordan Bardella.

Attal was unaware of Macron's plans, which he had kept from all but a tiny circle of advisors, the sources said.
Among them was Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, another potential successor and snap vote advocate, and Bruno Roger-Petit, an ex-journalist-turned-strategist who has masterminded Macron's rightward shift over the last few years.


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