If he is not reappointed, Edouard Philippe would turn his back on more than three years at the head of the government by leaving Matignon. 1,145 days exactly, since the surprise appointment, on May 15, 2017 by Emmanuel Macron, of this defector of the Republicans. Few French prime ministers could have boasted of such longevity. The resigning head of government is the seventh to have spent the most consecutive days in this function, out of the twenty-three appointments made under the Fifth Republic.
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The holder of the “most precarious lease of the Republic”, sometimes described as the “hell of Matignon”, will have held this position longer than Jean-Pierre Raffarin (1121 consecutive days), appointed under President Jacques Chirac. But shorter than the socialist Pierre Mauroy (1153 days), the Gaullist Michel Debré (1192 days) and the Giscardian Raymond Barre (1722 days).
Pompidou stayed the longest
He remains far behind the three heads of government with the most important longevity at the head of the government: the socialist Lionel Jospin (1799 days), from 1997 to 2002, during the last cohabitation, François Fillon (1820 days), only Prime Minister maintained at his post a whole presidential mandate during, and finally Georges Pompidou (2279 days), holding of an exceptional longevity. Prime Minister from 1962 to 1968, very popular, he was dismissed by de Gaulle in the wake of the events of May-68. And arrived at the Élysée the following year.
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Many of these heads of government have known the unavoidable soap opera of the Fifth Republic: rumors of a disagreement with the head of state. Édouard Philippe worked in "confidence" with the Head of State, he assured at the height of the health crisis, in response to the strategic differences between the Élysée and Matignon revealed by the press.
"For three years" spent in Matignon, "I have always been able, in our relations, to rejoice in a confidence, a fluidity which, I believe, has few precedents" , indicated the chief of the majority before the press, May 7. "It is always the case, I hope it will always be the case, and I believe it will always be the case," he insisted. He resigned less than two months later.