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Friday, July 1, 2022

Elisabeth Borne, a Prime Minister already in the hot seat?

We listened carefully on Thursday evening, but Emmanuel Macron never mentioned the name of Elisabeth Borne during his speech to the French. Since the second round of legislative, the Head of State went alone to the front to find a way out of the crisis that is shaking the country. Weakened by the absence of an absolute majority in the National Assembly, the prime minister​ found herself on the sidelines, watching the president from Matignon receive opposition leaders.

His resignation on Monday – as is customary after this election – was refused by the president. But only a month after her appointment, the head of government remains in the hot seat. “I am not asking myself these kinds of questions, I am taking action”, she evacuated Thursday evening on LCI.

Enemy fire… and allies

Still, on the right as on the left, several officials have called in recent hours on the former Minister of Labor to give up her apron. “As Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne is the leader of the presidential coalition. She lost the legislative elections and must therefore resign, ”assured us on Wednesday Philippe Ballard, the new RN deputy from Oise, when he entered the Assembly. “This woman has no legitimacy, zero! We are wasting our time, until she leaves, ”thus castigated Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the boss of La France insoumise.

Elisabeth Borne however won well a first election on his name, Sunday evening, in the 6ᵉ district of Calvados, in Normandy. But the narrow score of the ballot (52.47%) and above all, the historic absence of a relative majority for the presidential coalition, revived criticism of the too “techno” profile of the 61-year-old polytechnician. Among his opponents, it’s fair game, but Elisabeth Borne also came under Allied fire.

The influential François Bayrou sent a nice cleat, Wednesday on France inter. “The times require that the Prime Minister or the Prime Minister be political, that we do not have the feeling that it is the technique which governs the country”, swung the boss of the Modem, without too much subtlety. “He himself is the more political Prime Minister, right? », has fun with 20 minutes François Patriat, the boss of walkers in the Senate. “It has just been confirmed by the president, who has never been wrong about the choice of his prime ministers. Let’s not impugn her intentions before she has been able to work before Parliament. Please, let’s not add crisis to crisis… ”, adds this close friend of Emmanuel Macron.

“She has qualities, but she may not have the culture of political combat”

In these undecided times, the government is not sure of being able to pass its future bills. While it will probably be necessary to seek votes with teeth in the hemicycle, concern remains among certain members of the majority. “She has undeniable qualities, but she may not have the culture of political combat”, breathes a deputy from the MoDem. “It is also learned, it is perhaps the wish of the president to give him another chance…”

On the side of Matignon, we quickly wanted to sweep away the critics. In a vehement tone, as if to show that we also knew how to play politics. “To say that Elisabeth Borne would be a technician when she was minister for five years and carried out difficult and central reforms in the previous five-year term is out of place. Everyone is losing their nerves, ”hissed those around him on Wednesday, near BFM TV.

The person concerned, for her part, clarified on LCI not to “feel targeted by this criticism”, indicating that she had “had the opportunity to explain herself with François Bayrou”. The head of government was also on the ground earlier this Thursday, visiting a national gas management center in Ile-de-France. Impassive despite the blocking situation in the Assembly and the attacks. “The French are waiting for answers, particularly on the energy issue and purchasing power. The government therefore remains on the one hand fully mobilized on these priorities, and at the same time, it continues consultations with all the political forces”, indicates Maud Bregeon, deputy Together! des Hauts-de-Seine, who accompanied Elisabeth Borne this Thursday.

The Prime Minister took advantage of the trip to announce that she would receive the group presidents “today and tomorrow” to “allow to continue to vote on texts” in the National Assembly. While her popularity rating collapsed in June according to an Ifop-Fiducial poll published on Tuesday (-7 points, to 41%), Elisabeth Borne gave herself up this week at Paris Match to try to bounce back and break the “techno” image that sticks to his skin.

The objective: to regain control, before its declaration of general policy, scheduled for July 4th. Her fate at Matignon could be sealed there by a vote of confidence, as the opposition hopes, even if nothing obliges Elisabeth Borne to submit to this vote. On LCI, she dodged the question, indicating that she had not yet “decided on this point”. His speech on substance and form will be eagerly awaited, and no doubt watched very closely at the highest peak in the state.

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