Castex takes effect announced French government resignation

Date:

Macron will have to appoint a new executive before the parliamentary elections to be held between 12 and 19 June

French Prime Minister Jean Castex handed over his resignation and that of his government to the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, three weeks after the presidential election. The change of government will take place a month before the parliamentary elections on June 12 and 19, during which the 577 seats in the National Assembly will be renewed.

Castex traveled by car to the Elysée to hand-deliver his and his government’s letter of resignation to Macron. And the president has accepted it, the Elysee said in a statement.

According to Article 8 of the French Constitution, the President of the Republic appoints the new Prime Minister. And on his proposal, he will appoint the other members of the government in the coming days.

The announcement of the resignation of Castex and his government is no surprise. It was expected from the presidential. While the prime minister is not legally required to resign, it is part of the Republican tradition, following the re-election of a president. It is a way for the re-elected president to show that he has heard the message from the French in the presidential election and that he is starting his second term with a new team at the helm.

The website of the Gallic government mistakenly published the announcement of Castex’s resignation last Saturday. The prime minister had planned to travel to the Vatican on Sunday, but the trip was eventually canceled because Macron was traveling to the United Arab Emirates that day. The President and Prime Minister cannot be outside French territory at the same time.

A senior civil servant and educated at the prestigious National Administration School (ENA), Castex, 56, was unknown to most French people before Macron appointed him prime minister in July 2020 to replace Édouard Philippe.

He came from the right politically. He was a member of the Republican Party and was close to Nicolas Sarkozy, under whose command he worked as deputy general secretary at the Elysée.

For 12 years (2008-2020) he was mayor of Prades (Prada, in Catalan), a city of 6,000 inhabitants in the Pyrénées-Orientales department, near the Spanish border and of great symbolic value for Catalanism. He speaks Spanish and some Catalan.

He held various positions in Paris until Macron put him in charge of the de-escalation in April 2020, following the first incarceration caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The French press called him “Mr. deconfinement’.

His nearly two years with Matignon were marked by the pandemic. Now he plans to take three weeks of family vacation in the Pyrenees to rest.

Unlike other former French prime ministers who have complained about “Matignon hell”, Castex is delighted with the position and considers it a source of pride to have held the position, as he explained to France Télévisions.

Castex, with a strong southern accent and a rugby fan, has managed to maintain the image of a good-natured government leader close to the French. He is not so much identified with the Parisian elite, despite, like Macron, having studied at the ENA, a breeding ground for French presidents and senior officials.

When he was elected to the post, he expressed his desire to become “Prime Minister of the Territories.” In his nearly two years in office, he has made 351 trips across France, a record.

Macron is expected to name a woman in Matignon. According to the television channel BFMTV, the favorite is Élisabeth Borne, the current Minister of Employment and former Minister of Ecology. This left-wing official’s name has been in all pools to replace Castex.

In the Fifth Republic, France has had only one prime minister: Edith Cresson, appointed in 1991 by Socialist President François Mitterrand during his second term. Cresson only lasted eleven months. The former prime minister has now denounced the machismo of the French political class. “It takes a lot of courage” for the position, explains the former politician.

According to an Ifop poll for Le Journal du Dimanche, 74% of French people are in favor of appointing a female prime minister.

Source: La Verdad

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