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What the heck is happening in France? Out gay PM Gabriel Attal tries to resign after far-right blowout

France out gay Prime Minister Gabriel Attal attempts resignation after rightwing political loss President Emmanuel Macron press conference rejected
Ludovic MARIN/AFP; Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Gabriel Attal, the first out gay man to serve as France's Prime Minister, offered his resignation following his party's loss. President Emmanuel Macron has since rejected it.

France's legislative elections have concluded with a resounding loss for the country's far-right party, but the left and centrist parties weren't entirely victorious.

Politicians in France are grappling with how to run the National Assembly after the leftist coalition New Popular Front won the most seats (182) in last week's sudden elections. President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance came in second, winning 168 seats, with the far-right National Rally (RN) coming in last at 143 seats.

No party earned the 289 seats needed to hold an absolute majority in the chamber, which has 577 seats. While many European parliaments do not have a dominant party, it is the first time that a party in the country has not held the majority.

The National Assembly is one of two houses in France's parliament. It has the final say in the law-making process over the Senate, which is currently controlled by conservatives. The Prime Minister is accountable to the assembly, and is in charge of introducing legislation.

It is not a policy or law that positions appointed by the president's administration, such as Prime Minister, must be members of the dominant party, though it is typically custom in the nation. Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, the first out gay man to serve in the position, was appointed by Macron in January, and has since submitted his resignation anyways.

Macron’s office has said that the president will “wait for the new National Assembly to organize itself” before deciding on the government. Macron has subsequently asked Attal to stay on "temporarily," until negotiations between the parties are settled. Attal has agreed to stay on as long as he's needed, including for the quickly approaching Paris Olympics.

Macron unexpectedly called the recent snap elections after polls suggested the far-right was pulling ahead. Though his term ends in 2027, the president has said that he will not step down. His centrist party will not be able to implement its policies under the new parliament without compromise, with many officials now weighing an alliance with the left-wing parties.

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a reporter at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a reporter at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.