Macron readies reshuffle of Cabinet after huge election wins

Pauline Gross
June 20, 2017

The vote comes just a month after 39-year-old Macron, a former banker, became the youngest head of state in modern French history, promising to clean up French politics and revive the Eurozone's second-biggest economy. But while the French voters may have handed Macron the keys to the auto of state, there are far too many in the French establishment ready and willing to pour sugar in the petrol tank.

After four failed attempts to enter the National Assembly, recently defeated presidential candidate and National Front leader Marine Le Pen was finally elected as an MP in the far-right stronghold of Henin-Beaumont, northern France.

Catherine Barbaroux, LREM's acting president, hailed the increase in women's share of parliamentary seats. It's a largely symbolic move required after legislative elections. We owe it to the president's desire to give a new boost to our democracy.

Mr Macron's success yesterday was tempered by a record low turnout of just under 44 per cent, leading opposition leaders to claim that he had no groundswell of support.

PARIS Richard Ferrand, a close aide of Emmanuel Macron who was named a minister weeks ago, said on Tuesday his move out of government to a job as leader of his party in parliament was "strategic", and he dodged questions as to whether he had been sidelined by the French president. The left-wing parties saw a defeat with the former ruling Socialist Party getting 29 seats.

"The rout of the Socialist Party is undeniable", Socialist leader Cambadelis stated.

The center-right Les Republicains and their allies have trailed behind, with around 119 seats.

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As the new MPs take their seats, Macron will participate in his first European Union summit in Brussels.

The far-right National Front (FN) party won eight seats, but it had set its sights on 15.

Party won an absolute majority in the 577-seat National Assembly, Castaner said the government reshuffle would be "technical and not far-reaching". It, however, also fell short of its election goal of replacing the mainstream Socialist Party as the main force on the left.

"There is still a long way to go before we get real equality...(but) the arrival of so many more women at the National Assembly will really help", said Rossi, a 33-year-old former assistant to a Socialist senator.

Melenchon also honed in on the record low turnout, saying: "The French people are now engaged in a sort of civic general strike". Valls won 50.3% of the vote there, according to FranceInter.

France's two-round voting system in both presidential and parliamentary elections has traditionally impeded the FN, which seeks a more proportional system of voting. The parliamentary majority will enable Macron to implement plans to alter French labor law and refurbish benefits and unemployment benefits.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, wrote Sunday on Twitter that "France now has a strong president with a strong majority in parliament".

Other reports by GizPress

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