Emmanuel Macron appoints France’s youngest and first openly gay prime minister aged 34

Gabriel Attal

PARIS- French President Emmanuel Macron has named 34-year-old Gabriel Attal as France’s new prime minister on Tuesday.

Attal, who has replaced Elisabeth Borne, becomes France’s youngest and first openly gay PM.

The move comes as Macron seeks a fresh start for the rest of his term in office as political pressure keeps piling from the far right.

Attal rose to prominence as the government spokesman and education minister.

His predecessor Borne resigned o  Monday following recent political turmoil over a controversial new immigration law, which some claimed showed Macron was giving in to the far-right.

Borne, who was appointed in May 2022 as the second woman to cover that role, made clear in her resignation letter that she did not wish to leave her position but Macron had decided to replace her.

Confirming the nomination of Attal on X, formerly Twitter, the French president wrote: “Dear @GabrielAttal, I know I can count on your energy and your commitment to implement the rearmament and regeneration project that I announced.”

He added: “In fidelity to the spirit of 2017: surpassing and audacity. In the service of the Nation and the French.”

Macron’s second term lasts until 2027, and he is constitutionally barred from a third consecutive term.

Once a member of the Socialist Party, Attal joined Macron’s Renaissance party in 2016. He was a government spokesperson from 2020 to 2022, a job that made him well-known to the French public.

Attal was then named budget minister before being appointed in July as education minister, one of the most prestigious positions in the French government.

He quickly announced a ban on long robes in classrooms which took effect with the new school year in September, saying the garments worn mainly by Muslims were testing secularism in the schools.

He also launched a plan to experiment with uniforms in some public schools, as part of efforts to move the focus away from clothes and reduce school bullying.

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