Breaking: French Prime Minister to Resign after Left-Wing Coalition Takes Lead

French prime mininster Gabriel Attal announced his intention to resign after the country’s legislative elections gave a first-place plurality to the left-wing New Popular Front coalition in the second round of voting on Sunday.

“Faithful to the Republican tradition and in accordance with my principles, tomorrow morning I will submit my resignation to the president of the Republic,” said Attal, a close ally of President Emmanuel Macron and a political centrist.

While no party was able to secure the 289 seats necessary to hold a majority in the country’s National Assembly, the leftist alliance — with a projected range of 180 to 215 seats, according to broadcaster TF1 — was able to deny the right-wing populist National Rally the ability to form a government.

National Rally is expected to come in third with a projected range of 120 to 150 seats, while Macron’s centrist coalition is expected to hold somewhere between 150 and 180.

As of 5 p.m. local time, voter turnout had reached 59.71 percent, the largest percentage since France’s 1981 legislative elections.

Leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon described the results as an “immense relief for a majority of people in our country.”

Though National Rally emerged in the lead after the first round of voting last week with a 33.2-percent plurality, the emergence of the left-wing coalition — with the democratic-socialist Mélenchon as a prominent figure — prevented the right-populist party from securing a majority many believed to be within its reach.

Mélenchon, who has unsuccessfully run for president multiple times, drew widespread condemnation for his failure to condemn Hamas after its October 7 attack against Israel and his party’s statement in which it referred to the terrorist organization as “the Palestinian forces.” Mélenchon called for a cease-fire before Israel had been able to respond to the attack.

On the other side of the aisle, National Rally leader Jordan Bardella, who before the vote projections was in position to become France’s youngest prime minister at the age of 28, delivered a speech in which he celebrated the far-right party’s capturing the most legislative seats in its history and blamed Macron for “pushing France into uncertainty and instability.”

His party has zeroed in on immigration as its key policy area, an issue that became more salient after the waves of refugees Europe has taken in over the past few decades hit a crisis point.

Macron, for his part, wrote in a statement that he will wait to make a decision on a new government — final vote totals are expected late Sunday or early Monday — but pledged to ensure that “the sovereign choice of the French people will be respected.”

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French Prime Minister to Resign after Left-Wing Coalition Takes Lead

The right-wing populist National Rally won fewer seats than expected, though it was still able to increase its ... READ MORE

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