French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne resigned on Monday as President Emmanuel Macron prepared to unveil a long-awaited cabinet reshuffle in a bid to give new momentum to the final three years of his presidency.
After days of intense behind-the-scenes manoeuvring, Education Minister Gabriel Attal, 34, was emerging as the favourite to succeed Borne, whose successor has yet to be named.
If appointed, Attal would be France’s youngest ever and first openly gay prime minister.
“Ms Elisabeth Borne today submitted the resignation of the government to the president, who accepted it,” the presidency said in a statement.
Commentators see the reshuffle as essential to relaunch Macron’s centrist presidency for its last three years and prevent him becoming a “lame duck” leader after a series of crises.
Since he defeated the far right to win a second term in 2022, Macron has faced protests over unpopular pension reforms, the loss of his overall majority in parliamentary elections and controversy over immigration legislation.
Borne, 62, the second woman to lead the French government, has weathered these problems but never dispelled doubts about her future.
Writing on X, Macron thanked her for “work in the service of our nation that has been exemplary every day”, without explicitly mentioning her resignation.
Other than Attal, the possible candidates to succeed Borne include 37-year-old Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu and 43-year-old former agriculture minister Julien Denormandie.