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Macron Asks French PM to Stay on as Political Deadlock Continues

French President Emmanuel Macron has asked his prime minister, Gabriel Attal, to remain in post “for the time being to ensure the country’s stability”, after [https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/521490/french-far-right-seeks-vote-win-but-deadlock-looms

election results left no party with an outright majority.]

Attal, who led the president’s Ensemble alliance’s election campaign, handed his resignation to Macron on Monday, only for the president to refuse.

Although Ensemble lost many of its seats in Sunday’s parliament election, it came second, behind a left-wing alliance but ahead of the far right which had been expected to win.

The unexpected result leaves French politics in deadlock, with no party able to form a government by itself.

The New Popular Front, a left-wing alliance cobbled together after Macron called the elections, argues that as the leading group in the next National Assembly it has earned the right to choose a prime minister.

They were due to meet on Monday to consider who to propose for the job, but there is no obvious candidate who would satisfy the radical France Unbowed (LFI) party as well as the more moderate Socialists, Greens and Communists.

Attal had announced he would resign on Sunday night, but left open the possibility of remaining in the job as long as duty required him to do so.

It had been widely expected that his resignation would be rejected when he visited the Élysée Palace on Monday morning.

President Macron is due to fly to the US on Tuesday for a Nato summit and Paris is hosting the Olympic Games from 26 July.

While it is not yet clear how long he needs Attal to stay in office, the president made it clear that France now needed a period of calm.

Outgoing Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned on Monday that the country was facing an immediate risk of financial crisis an economic decline.

Since the results came out, Macron has sought to steer clear of the political fray. A statement on Sunday night said that while he would respect the “choice of the French people”, he was waiting for the full picture to emerge in parliament before taking the next, necessary decisions.

The National Rally (RN) of Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella had been widely expected to win the election, after taking a strong lead in the previous weekend’s first round.

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