Update: Prime Minister Castex has now officially resigned. French Labor Minister Borne expected to be appointed new Prime Minister.
After the French 2020 election, in which President Macron faced sharp criticism and several defeats at the mayoral level for his party, the President sought to reinvent the image of his struggling government and win back support in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Macron later named Jean Castex, a top civil servant and local mayor who orchestrated France’s coronavirus lockdown exit strategy, as his new prime minister.
Castex, 55, hails from the center-right of French politics and served for two years as the second-highest ranking official in the Elysee Palace during Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidency.
It appears that President Macron is seeking to execute another reimageof the French government after a heated run-off against “French First” populist Marine Le Pen by a margin of only about 5 million votes.
Prime Minister Jean Castex arrived at Elysee Palace this morning with the stated intent of keeping with tradition and tendering his resignation of the French government in order to allow President Macron the opportunity to create a new impetus for his new administration. In France, once the President is elected, they appoint a Prime Minister to actually lead governmental affairs. From the French government website:
“The Prime Minister ensures the implementation of laws and exercises regulatory power, subject to the signature by the Head of State of ordinances and decrees which have been deliberated upon in the Council of Ministers. He may, in exceptional circumstances, replace the President of the Republic as chairman of the Council of Ministers. He is also responsible for national defence, even though the broad guidelines are often set by the President of the Republic.”
The Prime Minister will then aid the President in appointing officials to the Cabinet of Ministers, but the decision ultimately lies with the President.
So sure is the resignation that the French governments official website mistakenly published the headline today documenting the resignation.