Macron Suffers Another Cabinet Resignation, of Interior Minister Gerard Collomb
Macron has seen three of his Cabinet ministers go over a period of five weeks.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron has accepted the resignation of his close ally Gerard Collomb as Interior Minister, a situation construed as “another blow” to the French leader as that is the third Cabinet member to quit in about a month.
Macron’s decision to accept Collomb’s resignation was announced by the Elysee Palace early on Wednesday, as cited by AFP and France24.
Earlier this week, on Monday, the French President already rejected the resignation of his Interior Minister.
71-year-old Collomb first indicated two weeks ago that he preferred to step down in 2019, after the EU elections in May, and then run for mayor of Lyon, his old job.
Following this revelation, he faced public criticism, and attempted to resign on Monday.
As Macron sought to dissuade him, on Tuesday, Collomb again said he wanted to quit.
“[The President] has accepted the resignation of Gerard Collomb and asked the prime minister to act in his place until the announcement of a successor”, the Elysee Palace said in a statement after midnight on Wednesday.
Because of Collomb’s resignation, France’s Prime Minister Edouard Philippe canceled a trip to South Africa as he was asked to step in, his office said.
The outgoing Interior Minister previously compared his relationship with Macron to that of a father and son.
However, their relations worsened after the scandal over the summer involving the President’s security aide Alexandre Benalla, who was filmed beating protesters while wearing a police helmet.
Collomb told a parliamentary inquiry that the Benalla incident should have been reported by Macron’s office.
Before becoming Macron’s Interior Minister, Collomb served as Mayor of Lyon for 16 years, and was expected to seek a fourth term.
Collomb’s resignation is a new blow to Macron’s administration, after recently France’s popular Environment Minister, TV star Nicolas Hulot, quit live on air without even warning the President in advance.
Shortly after that, Sports Minister, former Olympic fencing champion Laura Flessel, resigned for “personal reasons”.
(Banner image: TV grab from BFM TV)