Thursday 22 February 2018

France's government resigns ahead of new appointments

Jamey Keaten in Paris

President Francois Hollande's Socialist government formally resigned yesterday after the legislative election, a tradition that sets the stage for a more muscular leftist government to push through changes such as higher taxes on corporate titans and hiring more teachers.

Mr Hollande immediately re-appointed Jean-Marc Ayrault as prime minister and asked him to form a new government, expected to be nearly identical to the outgoing cabinet.

A government spokeswoman said the new lineup was likely to be announced on Thursday after Mr Hollande returns from summits in Mexico and Brazil.

The Socialists vaulted to dominance in the 577-seat National Assembly in Sunday's election. That gives Mr Hollande -- who was elected last month -- the backing he needs to push forward with his leftist reform programme.

Final results released yesterday showed the Socialist Party won 280 seats, while two closely allied parties garnered a total of 34 seats -- giving the Socialist-led bloc 314 seats.

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party and its conservative allies dropped to 229 seats from 304.

Irish Independent

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