A page turns on Saturday at midnight with the start of Macron’s second five-year term. But the expectation of the appointment of the next Prime Minister to replace Jean Castex who will remain in office at least until Monday persists.
When will Jean Castex bring his resignation letter to the Head of State? If the Élysée has given no indication, one thing is certain: the head of government is in the process of packing his boxes, a “political necessity” according to him, while Emmanuel Macron seeks to obtain a new breath for the legislative elections in June.
But the change is not for this weekend. On Sunday, Jean Castex has one last trip on his agenda: to lead the French delegation for the canonization on Sunday in the Vatican of the explorer and then hermit Charles de Foucauld.
From then on, the scenario of a departure at the beginning of next week is taking shape. “The resignation will take place on Monday,” a majority official believes.
It remains to be seen whether his successor will be appointed in the process, and in what time frame the new government team will be formed.
“There will be renewal”, in particular with members of civil society, advances an adviser to the executive, who thinks that these changes will make it possible to “take back control” to “run a flash and massive legislative campaign”.
In the meantime, Jean Castex said goodbye to the Matignon staff on Wednesday, then Thursday evening to the ministers, invited to a buffet in the gardens with their spouses.
“Never forget that we are only servants! Political action is collective action. Ambitions are legitimate but they are only worthwhile if they serve the collective,” he said, according to one participant. , to ministers who gave him a standing ovation and a rugby shirt.
The future head of government – a woman a priori, according to confidences of relatives of the president – should therefore be hard at work for a first Council of Ministers on Wednesday or the following days.
But, in absolute terms, anything is possible, especially since the Head of State always willingly poses as “master of the clocks” and of suspense.
“It’s a custom, a republican tradition which wants the Prime Minister to present his resignation when a new president of the Republic is elected. He is not obliged to do so, but it is a republican tradition”, explains to the AFP Dominique Rousseau, professor of constitutional law at the Panthéon-Sorbonne University.
In the event of re-election, he can do so the day after the election – this is the case when leaving a cohabitation – or at the start of the new term.
In theory, the Prime Minister can also expedite current affairs until the legislative elections of June 12 and 19.
He will then submit his resignation to the President the day after the election. “It is not a written rule but it is the use which has always been respected since 1958”, notes the constitutionalist, recalling the precedent of Georges Pompidou after the re-election of General de Gaulle in 1965.
Emmanuel Macron assured last Monday in Berlin that he already knew who would be his next Prime Minister, endowed according to him with a “social”, “ecological” and productive profile.
Will this personality be among those cited in recent weeks, such as the Director General of Unesco Audrey Azoulay, the former Socialist Minister of Social Affairs Marisol Touraine or the economist Laurence Tubiana, with a rather “techno” profile? Perhaps, unless “it’s someone we haven’t thought of”, considers an adviser.
“The game is not over even if the techno hold the rope”, assures a tenor of the majority who pleads for a more political Prime Minister as the legislative elections approach.
Some are calling on the Head of State to delay no longer while the forces of the left, united behind Jean-Luc Mélenchon, are taking center stage at the start of the campaign.
“Appointing the Prime Minister later can help to have a small effect on the announcement of the new government”, estimates Benjamin Morel, lecturer in Public Law at the University of Paris 2.
“But you will not overturn the table” if the choice falls on “personalities that are not very prominent in public opinion”, he warns.
05/13/2022 19:31:29 – Paris (AFP) – © 2022 AFP