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A government spokesman said on Wednesday that there would be no move at least before May 13, when the prime minister usually tenders his resignation to the head of state after a presidential election.

The tension continues. Government spokesman Gabriel Attal announced on Wednesday that there would be no relocation until at least next May 13, while the announcement was expected last week, shortly after Emmanuel Macron’s re-election. If the spokesman claimed that ministers would remain in office to see “the end of Emmanuel Macron’s first five-year term”, such an expectation is unprecedented.

“Ordinary” resignation after the presidential elections

The fact that Emmanuel Macron’s mandate ends at midnight on May 13 does not change anything. Shortly after a presidential election, the prime minister usually tenders his resignation to the newly elected (or re-elected) president, regardless of the expiration date of the previous five-year term.

BFMTV political columnist Matthieu Croissandeau recalls: “It is customary for a prime minister to tender the resignation of his government after a major election, so obviously presidential or legislative elections.”

This was announced by the Prime Minister himself before the first round. “In the next days (second round), as tradition dictates, I will submit my resignation and the resignation of the government to the President of the Republic,” he assured at the time.

But Gabriel Attal was official on Wednesday. “The government is at work to act, to protect the French, to take all the necessary decisions and the time has not come for individual decisions and appointments,” he said.

“Nothing forces the prime minister to resign”

So is it legal for Jean Castex to stay put? The Constitution does not mention any necessity in this regard. Article 8 simply states that “The President of the Republic appoints the Prime Minister. He ends his functions when the latter submits the resignation of the government.”

“Nothing forces the Prime Minister to resign,” confirms Matthieu Croissandeau for BFMTV.

“The only thing in the constitution that causes the Prime Minister and the government to automatically resign is in the National Assembly when he is elected in very specific circumstances, such as by a motion of no confidence,” he explains.

The rapid resignation of the government is more a matter of republican “usage” which should allow “institutions to function harmoniously”. Western France Benjamin Fargeaud, Professor of Public Law at the University of Lorraine.

For political journalist Yves-Marie Robin, it is also a way for the newly elected president to “give new life to the majority before the legislative elections”. Western France.

A “double-edged sword” expectation?

How long can the situation last? “For as long as possible,” says our editor from Elysian sources. According to Matthieu Croissandeau, a way for the head of state to “assess the political situation as accurately as possible” is to negotiate with the left to obtain consent for legislative elections.

The wait is also a response to the peculiarity of this year’s presidential election: it took place much earlier than usual, in April. Matthieu Croissandeau believes that the late appointment of new ministers should therefore allow the head of state “to bring the appointment of his government as close as possible to the legislative elections scheduled for June.”

Still, this period of uncertainty is not safe for the head of state. According to our political columnist, the situation could be “two-sided” if ministers are in the dark about their future and only manage current affairs.

“No one speaks at the head of state,” said Matthieu Croissandeau, recalling a kind of “frozen frame of the first five-year period”, as if Emmanuel Macron “had trouble starting the second one”. Meanwhile, the opposition is taking advantage of this and occupying the media space, speculations about the identity of Matinho’s new tenant are still growing.

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