French President Emmanuel Macron Tuesday rejected a resignation offer from his prime minister ahead of talks with the opposition seeking to end the deadlock sparked by his failure to secure a majority in parliamentary elections.
Macron was due to host far-right leader Marine Le Pen and other political party chiefs for rare talks at the Elysee as he seeks solutions to an unprecedented situation that risks plunging his second term into crisis two months after it began.
The Elysee said French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, blamed by some analysts for heading a lacklustre campaign, had offered her resignation to Macron but the head of state turned it down, AFP reports.
Macron believes the government needs to “stay on task and act” and the president will now seek “constructive solutions” to the political deadlock in talks with opposition parties, said a presidential official, who asked not to be named.
Macron is due to start Tuesday’s flurry of discussions by talking with Christian Jacob, the head of the traditional right-wing the Republicans (LR), a party on the decline in recent months but which now may be courted by the president to give him a majority.
Socialist Party leader Olivier Faure and Communist Party boss Fabien Roussel — members of the NUPES left-wing alliance — will also meet Macron, although the hard-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon is not scheduled to do so.
And in a rare encounter, Macron will at 17:30 Paris time (1530 GMT) host Le Pen, his rival in presidential elections and leader of the far-right National Rally (RN).
The aim is to “build solutions to serve the French” at a time when there is no “alternative majority” to that of Macron’s ruling alliance, said the Elysee.