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French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe resigned on Friday ahead of a government reshuffle by President Emmanuel Macron designed to bolster his green credentials and win back disillusioned voters ahead of a possible re-election bid.
Questions over Philippes job have swirled since mid-June when Macron declared he wanted to “reinvent” his presidency.
In French government reshuffles, the prime minister tenders his or her resignation ahead of cabinet appointments but can still be re-named to the position. It was not immediately clear whether Philippe would be called upon to form the new government.
Macrons move to refashion his centrist government comes after voters punished the former investment banker and his party in nationwide municipal elections.
The elections, which concluded Sunday in run-off votes long-delayed by coronavirus, revealed surging support for the Green party and underlined Macrons troubles with left-leaning voters.
The only bright spot for Macron in the local elections was Philippes own victory in the northern port city of Le Havre.
With only 21 months until the next presidential election, Macron wants to reposition himself, close advisers say.
It would be a political gamble for Macron to replace Philippe, who is more popular with the public than the president, political analysts say. The prime minister has shown steadfast loyalty during waves of unrest and could emerge as a presidential rival in 2022.