France has appointed education minister, Gabriel Attal, as its youngest and first openly gay prime minister.
The 34-year-old politician was appointed by French president Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday Jan. 9th, as part of a cabinet shuffle.
Attal replaces Elisabeth Borne, who was the first French woman prime minister in over 30 years.
Attal gained popularity as the government’s spokesperson during the COVID-19 pandemic and was later appointed education minister in 2023.
In the role, he banned Muslim women from wearing abayas, full length robes, in public schools, which earned him support from conservatives but sparked protests from Muslim communities.
Macron’s decision to appoint Attal is seen as a strategic move to boost popularity ahead of the European Parliament elections in June.
Attal is considered one of France’s most popular politicians according to opinion polls, with many speculating he may succeed Macron in the 2027 presidential elections.