France marches on: Macron unveils his government

France marches on: Macron unveils his government

French President Emmanuel Macron will reveal his government on Wednesday, two days after he named his prime minister: Edouard Philippe—a

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

French President Emmanuel Macron will reveal his government on Wednesday, two days after he named his prime minister: Edouard Philippe—a moderate former member of the centre-right Republicans.

The appointment bolsters the new president’s claim to non-partisanship. While Macron served under the Socialist Valls government, he has presented himself as a centrist and is seeking to deliver on his ‘neither left nor right’ campaign; expect his cabinet announcement to unveil an eclectic mix of progressive and conservative figures.

Mr Macron’s plan to attract moderate politicians across the party divide is also a solid election strategy—key legislative elections will be held on June 11 and 18. A broader-based government will enhance the chances of En Marche! becoming the main parliamentary force. But it’s unlikely to win a majority, meaning the new president will have to forge strong coalitions to implement his ambitious reform agenda.

With the Socialists polling dismally (the party looks set to the win just a fifth of the seats it secured in 2012) and strong opposition from both the far-left and the far-right, the centre-right Republicans appear to be Macron’s likely partner. Prime Minister Philippe will be instrumental in helping to build bridges to convince his former colleagues to support France’s new president.