Emmanuel Macron power grab: Edouard Philippe resigns as French president plots major move | World | News

His departure is ahead of a government reshuffle by President Emmanuel Macron designed to bolster his green credentials and win back disillusioned voters ahead of a possible re-election bid. The Elysee Palace said in a statement Mr Philippe would handle government affairs until a new cabinet was named.

The statement said: “Mr Edouard Philippe has handed in the resignation of the government to the president of the republic, who has accepted it. 

“He will ensure, with the members of the government, the management of current operations until the nomination of the new government.”

Questions over Mr Philippe’s job had swirled since mid-June when Mr Macron declared he wanted to “reivent” his presidency.

In French government reshuffles, the prime minister tenders his or her resignation ahead of cabinet appointments but can still be re-named to the position.

It comes after Mr Macron announced on Thursday the next phase of his presidency will be embodied by a new government team, but he remained coy about the future of his prime minister.

Mr Macron told regional newspapers in an interview that one of the reforms he would want to push in the final two years of his term was the overhaul of the pension system.

He told La Montagne newspaper: “The new phase entails new goals of independence, reconstruction, reconciliation and new methods. Behind that there will be a new team.” 

Speaking of Mr Philipp, he said: “He is carrying out important reforms and we have a relationship of trust which is from a certain point of view unique on the scale of the Fifth Republic.

“I will have to make choices to lead the new path.”

There has been mounting speculation of a government reshuffle after last Sunday’s local elections saw the Greens trounce Mr Macron’s laRem party and take control of big cities.

LaRem party failed to win in any big city, leaving Mr Macron, 42, without a local power-base as he eyes a possible bid for a second term as president in 2022. 


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