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Delay in announcement of Macron's new French government


France

Delay in announcement of Macron's new French government

France has a new prime minister but the announcement of the rest of government has been put back a day.

President Macron and the PM Edouard Philippe have spent Tuesday considering the list which is now due to be released on Wednesday afternoon.

The delay in announcing the new government has been attributed to the need to check the candidates over their finances and potential conflicts of interest.

The new president wants to break the left-right divide that has dominated French politics for decades.

Richard Ferrand, secretary-general of Macron’s one-year old political movement now called “The Republic on the Move”, told France Inter radio:

“Emmanuel Macron has talked about unity and renewal. Emmanuel Macron’s political family is on the left, he’s from the left, so bearing in mind we’re convinced that with a shared project we can get over old divisions, it was quite logical that a man from the right be appointed prime minister.”

Even after June’s parliamentary elections the left-right balancing act is likely to continue.

“If many ‘On the Move’ and Socialist candidates are elected, there will be more of them in the government. And conversely – in the event that ‘On the Move’ wins – if there are many from “The Republicans” (on the right) and the UDI (Union of Democrats and Independents), then perhaps to contain the opposition, he will integrate more deputies from the right into his government,” said Dominique Reynié, a professor at the SciencesPo institute in Paris and head of the think-tank Fondapol.

President Macron’s seduction of politicians from rival parties in the name of political renewal has caused turmoil in the traditional mainstream parties on left and right.

He needs a parliamentary majority to push through planned reforms, notably to the labour market.

However voters’ concerns in the parliamentary vote may differ from those that gave him his presidential victory, when many people were motivated by a desire to defeat the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.