French President Emmanuel Macron has picked centre-right mayor of the northern port city of Le Harve, Edouard Philippe (46), as his Prime Minister.
The appointment of Philippe, a moderate from France’s mainstream right-wing party Les Republicains, is seen as a strategic move that could secure the support Macron needs to win a majority in the 577-seat National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament.
This is the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic that a President has appointed someone from outside his own party without being explicitly required to do so by a parliamentary vote.
Macron, who was Economy Minister in the Socialist government during 2014-16, already enjoys considerable support among former Socialists, including former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, against whom La Republique en Marche (REM),
Macron’s movement, is not fielding a candidate in the assembly elections. Additionally, all current MPs whom the REM has so far given tickets to are drawn from the Socialist party.
The French Prime Minister is required to have the support of the majority of MPs in its National Assembly and Philippe’s appointment is being seen as the President reaching out to the right – a move that could help his party push reforms through Parliament.
Macron was elected on a platform that promised reforms to labour and social security laws, training for workers, and relaunching the European Union.Edouard Philippe: Know More
- Trained as a lawyer, Mr. Philippe has worked in the private sector, including for French nuclear giant Areva and an American law firm.
- Philippe’s early political leanings were with the Socialist Party, but later he came to be associated with former President Jacques Chirac and former centre-right Prime Minister Alain Juppe’s Union for a Popular Movement.
- Juppe, also a presidential hopeful, lost the Les Republicains primaries in 2016.