French economy minister resigns

PARIS, 30th August, 2016 (WAM) – French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron resigned on Tuesday, clearing the way for a presidential bid that will further unsettle an already wide-open race, according to Reuters.

The 38-year-old former investment banker, one of France's most popular politicians, did not immediately say he would run in the 2017 election but is widely expected to do so, having quit the government and created his own political party.

"Emmanuel Macron ... today handed in to the president of the Republic his resignation from the government to fully devote himself to his political party," President Francois Hollande's office said in a statement.

Finance Minister Michel Sapin, a close ally of Hollande, will add the economy ministry to his portfolio.

He will not announce his presidential bid on Tuesday, an En Marche Party spokeswoman said following Macron’s resignation from the government.

She added that the party will first focus on assessing the situation in France with a door-to-door campaign it started in May, stressing that the results of this assessment will be presented later in September.

"After that we will make proposals, and after that candidacy questions will be dealt with," she said, as quoted by Reuters.

Macron said on his Twitter page that he would talk to reporters later on Tuesday.


WAM/tfaham