Paris, France. In a post election shocker, new French President Emmanuel Macron has named a far right wing Prime Minister in his government, as he attempts to unite opposition groups.
President Emmanuel Macron appointed a conservative prime minister on Monday in a move to broaden his political appeal and weaken his opponents before legislative elections in June.
Mayor of Le Havre Edouard Philippe, is from the moderate wing of the main center-right Republican party and will be a balance to former Socialist MPs who have previously joined Macron’s cause.
Philippe is a lawyer, who worked as public-affairs director for the French state nuclear group Areva before becoming a member of parliament in 2012, and then mayor of Le Havre in 2014.
President Macron has vowed to end the left-right politics that have dominated France for decades, and his political startup centrist Republic on the Move, or REM, party, which is just a year old, needs to find a wider base of support for the parliamentary elections.
On the other side of the political divide, Macron’s decision not to put up an REM candidate to oppose former Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls in his constituency ties Valls closer and makes it hard for a divided left to reunite.
It is the first time in modern French political history that a president has appointed a prime minister from outside his camp without being forced to by a defeat in parliamentary elections.
Macron’s presidential win itself was a seismic shift in a political landscape dominated for decades by the two main left-wing and right-wing parties.
By picking Philippe, Macron has passed over some loyal followers including Richard Ferrand, a former Socialist who was one of the first to join Macron’s cause last year and is secretary general of REM.