Who will become France’s next prime minister? (2024)

France’s Leftist bloc New Popular Front (NFP) said they hope to come up with a prime minister replacement within the week, in what will be the first big test of the fledgling coalition.

After defying the polls and snatching victory from the country’s hard-Right National Rally in Sunday’s election, the first order of business is to reach a consensus on the person who will represent the NFP and lead the government.

But interests and priorities diverge widely among the coalition’s four groups, which include the hard-Left France Unbowed (LFI), the Socialists, the Greens and the Communists. Here are some of the runners and riders for French prime minister.

Over the last few weeks, the leader of France’s Green party has rebranded herself as one of the most outspoken and visible faces of the New Popular Front.

Her signature style, which typically consists of a green blazer and jeans, has generated its own Twitter account with more than 13,400 followers.

Dubbed “the other Marine” by French media, Ms Tondelier, 37, said the ideal prime minister should be aligned with the Left bloc’s program, work to heal the country and bring about consensus. She has also said she is open to the idea of forming a “grand coalition” in parliament in order to get things done.

A former journalist and film-maker who was re-elected in his constituency of Somme in a narrow victory Sunday, Mr Ruffin, 48, is one of several former France Unbowed (LFI) dissidents who were recently “purged” from the party or left of their own accord.

Mr Ruffin has long criticised Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s leadership of the LFI, calling him a “ball and chain” liability and promised that if re-elected, he would not sit as an LFI deputy. Mr Ruffin styles himself after Michael Moore and through his satiric documentary Merci Patron! he accused France’s richest man, Bernard Arnault, of sacrificing French workers to globalisation.

The morning after her re-election, Clémentine Autain, 51, announced that she will sit in the French parliament, not as a representative of France Unbowed (LFI) but as an independent, breaking ties with the far-Left party and its leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

Ms Autain also expressed a desire to form a new political party.

When asked if she would be interested in filling the prime minister’s post, she said her name has been put forward, and told BFM TV: “Of course, I would accept without hesitation.”

Leader of the Socialist party, Olivier Faure, 55, said Monday that the Left coalition New Democratic Party must be able to propose a name within the week.

“We must not give the impression that we are not capable of governing,” he said.

Mr Faure started his political career serving as deputy director of François Hollande’s office when he was the leader of the Socialist party in the early 2000s.

He proposes that the group choose a prime minister by consensus or vote.

Dubbed the rising star of French socialists during the European parliamentary elections, Raphaël Glucksmann scores big on popularity.

In one survey from pollster Odoxa conducted recently, Mr Glucksmann surged 13 points — the strongest leap ever-recorded by the pollster—to France’s fourth most popular political figure behind Edouard Philippe, Jordan Bardella and Marine Le Pen.

More significantly, he also emerged the most liked politician from the Left at the expense of France Unbowed’s leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, whose popularity suffered a sharp drop.

Mr Glucksmann is an outspoken critic of Mr Mélenchon and has said he would not support the LFI leader as prime minister.

President of the Socialist party in the national assembly prior to dissolution, Boris Vallaud, 48, is another name that has been tossed into the ring.

In his constituency of Landes, Mr Vallaud is known for being on the ground and active in the community.

In a glowing profile by economic magazine Challenges, locals praise him for defending local French traditions and industries like foie gras and bullfighting.

In the same piece, Mr Vallaud said that if he were to be named prime minister, he would accept and assume his duties.

The most divisive figure within the Leftist coalition, the leader of the far-Left party France Unbowed (LFI) has said that he will not “impose” himself as prime minister.

Several high profile members of the Left coalition have made it clear that they would not support Mr Mélenchon as prime ministerial candidate, including Glucksmann, Ruffin and Tondelier.

Mélenchon loyalists, however, insisted Monday that he is not disqualified from the running, and that the nomination of prime minister should come from the largest representative party within the group, which is the LFI.

Emmanuel Macron, the president, has also said his centrist party will not ally with LFI.

Laurent Berger, former head of the CFDT civil servants union, has also been mooted as a possible contender who could bring consensus within the group as a civilian candidate.

Mr Berger, who now works for the private sector, has publicly declined the idea but his name remains high on the list.

Mr Berger clashed repeatedly with the president over the pension reforms which raised the age of retirement from 62 to 64.

Who will become France’s next prime minister? (2024)


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