Macron appoints France’s youngest PM amid far-right challenge

Gabriel Attalle

Paris: President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday reshuffled his cabinet and named Gabriel Attalle, a 34-year-old former government spokesperson and education minister, as France’s youngest-ever prime minister. Attalle, who is openly gay, is seen as a close ally of Macron and a rising star in the centrist party.

The move comes amid growing political pressure from the far-right, led by Marine Le Pen, who has been gaining ground in the polls ahead of the 2027 presidential election. Macron, who won a second term in 2022, is facing criticism over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis, and the security situation.

Attalle replaces Elizabeth Bourne, who resigned on Monday following a controversy over an immigration law that gives the government more power to expel undocumented migrants. The law, which has the backing of Macron, sparked protests from human rights groups and some members of the ruling coalition.

Bourne, who was the second woman to hold the post of prime minister in France, had been in office since May 2022, when Macron reshaped his government after his re-election. She had a low-profile but loyal role in implementing Macron’s reforms and managing the health crisis.

Gabriel Attalle

Macron is expected to announce the new members of his government in the coming days, as he seeks to boost his popularity and prepare for the next electoral battle. He has said that he wants a “new path” for his remaining term, with more focus on social and environmental issues.