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Could France’s legislative elections spark Macron’s resignation?

French President Emmanuel Macron is seen during the second round of the legislative elections in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, northern France, Sunday July 7 2024.
French President Emmanuel Macron is seen during the second round of the legislative elections in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, northern France, Sunday July 7 2024. Copyright Mohammed Badra/AP
Copyright Mohammed Badra/AP
By Eleanor Butler
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Political wrangling could be on the horizon if the French president is pushed to appoint a PM from a rival party. But what could this mean for this job?

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France’s snap legislative vote, set to conclude this evening, has raised a whole host of political uncertainties.

After a decisive success in last month’s European elections, politicians from the National Rally could be set for a victory on home soil. Others believe that thanks to alliances between more moderate politicians, the far-right may take less ground than predicted.

While this question has been hotly debated in recent weeks, one — more unusual — talking point has started to emerge. This concerns the direct fate of France’s main political figure, President Emmanuel Macron.

Pierre Mazeaud, former President of France’s Constitutional Council, is one commentator who believes the elections could spell an end to Macron’s tenure.

Without a majority in the National Assembly, Macron will struggle to pursue his political agenda — as he requires the votes of lawmakers to implement his policies.

"To stop these serious difficulties in the country, I am one of those who think that the President of the Republic must resign," said Mazeaud.

Working against opposing forces isn’t a new feeling for the President. After the last set of parliamentary elections in 2022, Macron was forced to enter into coalitions with other parties.

This caused him a particular headache when seeking to push through reforms to France’s pension system, forcing Macron to invoke Article 49.3 of the French constitution several times — the rule that bypasses the parliamentary vote to pass legislation.

French journalist Alain Duhamel also weighed in on the speculation.

“If the RN only has a relative majority in the Assembly, insufficient to be able to govern, and if there is not a heterogeneous majority capable of supporting a transitional government responsible for dealing with current affairs for a year, I do not see any other outcome than the resignation of Emmanuel Macron," said Duhamel.

In an interview with the Figaro newspaper last month, Macron nonetheless stressed that a defeat for his party in the legislative elections would not mean the end of his Presidential mandate.

"It is not the RN that writes the constitution ... The institutions are clear, the place of the president, whatever the result, is also clear. It is an intangible for me."

In France, the legislative elections determine the composition of the National Assembly, not the presidency, meaning that Macron's resignation will not be expected in the case of defeat.

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