As the need to form a new government is increasing the Left pressures Emmanuel Macron to appoint a left-wing Prime Minister at Matignon while preparing itself to govern excluding the hard-right party National Rally. EPA-EFE/ANDRE PAIN


Left pressures Macron to appoint left-wing PM, demands ‘cordon sanitaire’ against RN


As the pressure to form a new French government is increasing, the Left has pushed French President Emmanuel Macron to appoint a left-wing prime minister as well as continue to marginalise Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN).

Although the French President is under no legal obligation to choose a person from the largest group in the National Assembly, to do so is seen as common practice.

Macron has so far failed to do so, refusing to accept an attempt by current Prime Minister Gabriel Attal to resign as Prime Minister, prompting backlash from the president’s left-wing allies.

“The ‘Macronie’ has been defeated. Gabriel Attal must go. The President of the Republic should have accepted his resignation,” said hard-left Le France Insoumise (LFI) MP Mathilde Panot.

For Fabien Roussel, leader of the French Communist Party, the left-wing alliance must propose a prime minister with a “unifying profile and the ability to listen”.

He said the Left was continuing its discussions, working on “the elaboration of a government and the designation of a prime minister from within [its] ranks”.

“The French people expressed immense expectations [at the polls]: they asked for things to change, and it’s our responsibility to express this change,” he said.

LFI is rumoured to be pushing for Clémence Guetté one of its members, who is also responsible for the left-wing alliance programme.

For the centrist Presidential forces, the Left does not have a majority to govern and the members must therefore make compromises.

For Renaissance MP and former National Assembly President Yael Braun-Privet, the Left “don’t represent half the French population or the Assembly, so mathematically they can’t govern on their own”.

While the Left targets the PM position, the name of the former Interior Minister of Gérald Darmanin has been floating around.

So far, Macron has remained quiet, apparently hoping the Left-wing alliance collapses as it did during the last legislative term.

Indeed, in 2022, left-wing parties made up the so-called NUPES coalition but, due to infighting and lack of power in parliament, it fell apart.

LFI and Green MPs have sworn they will work to prevent the RN from accessing strategic positions in the National Assembly.

They hope to form a “cordon sanitaire” against the RN within the parliament, with the party having held two vice-presidencies in the parliament before the 2024 legislative elections.

Such calls have sparked criticisms from the RN.

“This is anti-republican, anti-democratic behaviour. We represent 10 million French people and 143 seats” said RN MP Thomas Ménagé.