Efforts to form new government in France drag on after snap election

Paris, Jul. 9, (dpa/GNA) – The search for a potential government coalition in France continues after parliamentary elections that dealt a serious blow to President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist camp and failed to deliver a clear parliamentary majority.

The victorious left-wing New Popular Front alliance, which fell far short of an outright majority, is continuing to sound out who from its own ranks could become prime minister if a government is formed.

The quickly formed alliance of Socialists, Communists and Greens went into the election without a lead candidate, and are now wrangling over who should be put forward as a potential leader.

Meanwhile, Macron’s second-place centrist Ensemble (Together) alliance has been considering the possibility of a grand coalition that would exclude hard-left parties and Marine Le Pen’s far-right nationalist National Rally (RN).

In an interview with broadcaster France Inter, Yaël Braun-Pivet, the current speaker of parliament from Macron’s centrist alliance, called for a grand coalition that could include the conservative Républicains, centre-left Social Democrats, Socialists and Greens alongside Macron’s centrist Renaissance party.

The RN and its hard-right allies surprisingly fell to third place in the final election on Sunday, despite a strong showing in the first round of voting.

Current French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, an ally of Macron, has remained in office as head of the caretaker government while the parties seek to form a new coalition.

Attal offered his resignation after the centrist camp’s defeat, but Macron asked him to remain in place – in part because the transitional period could last far longer than normal and extend beyond the summer break, given the difficult maths of building a coalition.

The battle over who will lead the New Popular Front could be difficult, as the largest single party in the group – the far-left France Unbowed party – is led by the polarizing Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

Socialist leader Olivier Faure has been pushed as a suitable leader by members of his party.GNA