Media report said president told backers he was considering early elections.
PARIS — The French presidency on Thursday denied a media report claiming that President Emmanuel Macron suggested he might resign and call early elections in a videoconference with a group of his super donors.
“The president never took part in a videoconference with donors, and he never mentioned his possible resignation, the information printed in Le Figaro is false,” said an Elysée official.
The article, citing one participant, claimed that Macron had told, via videoconference, a small group of donors in London two weeks ago that he was mulling resigning and calling early presidential elections as a way to reset his presidency after the coronavirus crisis.
But the French presidency’s denial was not straightforward. Earlier in the day, the same official initially stopped short of outright denying the report, instead simply refusing to confirm it. The Elysée’s initial comment in the Le Figaro article was also ambiguous.
“As a matter of principle, we do not rule anything out,” Le Figaro said an Elysée official told them. “The hypothesis of a resignation was never on the agenda or mentioned in a meeting at the Elysée.”
Macron is currently weighing how to reset his presidency after the coronavirus pandemic forced him to suspend some of the fundamental parts of his political program.
Some of the options being considered include a change of prime minister as well as more radical solutions to help him regain popular legitimacy, such as calling early parliamentary elections, organizing a referendum or conducting an updated version of the so-called grand debate that helped him turn the page after the Yellow Jacket protests.
Whether the idea of a resignation is simply a trial balloon, something Macron has done before, or being seriously considered remains unclear.
Early presidential elections have only been held twice since 1958. Once in 1969, after Charles de Gaulle resigned when the French people voted against his constitutional referendum in 1969, and a second time in 1974 after George Pompidou died in office.
Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/emmanuel-macron-possible-resignation-elysee-denial/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication