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Macron Rejects French PM Resignation after Losing Parliamentary Majority

Macron Rejects French PM Resignation after Losing Parliamentary Majority
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By Staff, Agencies

French President Emmanuel Macron rejected a resignation offer from Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne before talks with the opposition seeking to end the deadlock sparked by his failure to secure a majority in parliamentary elections.

The development came on Tuesday as Macron was due to host far-right leader Marine Le Pen and other political party chiefs for rare talks at the Elysee Palace as he seeks solutions to an unprecedented situation that risks plunging his second term into crisis two months after it began.

The Elysee said Borne, blamed by some analysts for heading a lacklustre campaign, had offered her resignation to Macron but the head of state turned it down.

Macron believes the government needs to “stay on task and act” and the president will seek “constructive solutions” to the political impasse in talks with opposition parties, said a presidential official, who asked not to be named.

Macron is due to start Tuesday’s flurry of discussions by talking with Christian Jacob, the head of the traditional right-wing Republicans [LR], a party on the decline in recent months but which now may be courted by the president to give him a majority.

Socialist Party leader Olivier Faure and Communist Party boss Fabien Roussel – members of the NUPES left-wing alliance – will also meet Macron, although the hard-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon is not scheduled to do so.

And in a rare encounter, Macron will at 17:30 Paris time host Le Pen, his rival in presidential elections and leader of the far-right National Rally [RN].

The aim is to “build solutions to serve the French” at a time when there is no “alternative majority” to that of Macron’s ruling alliance, said the Elysee.

While Macron’s Ensemble [Together] coalition remains the largest party after Sunday’s National Assembly elections, it fell dozens of seats short of keeping the absolute majority it has enjoyed for the last five years.

Melenchon and Le Pen made big gains, leaving them as major players in the new parliament.

Macron’s alliance won 244 seats, well short of the 289 needed for an overall majority, in a low-turnout vote that resulted in an abstention rate of 53.77 percent.

The election saw NUPES become the main opposition force along with its allies on 137 seats, according to interior ministry figures.

But it appears unlikely the coalition of Socialists, Communists, Greens and the hard-left France Unbowed will be able to retain common cause in the legislature.

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