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Macron unveils new French cabinet

May 17, 2017

New French President Emmanuel Macron's government includes names from across the political spectrum. The appointments reflect an attempt to bridge political divides ahead of parliamentary elections in June.

Frankreich Paris Amtseinführung Emmanuel Macron
Image: Reuters/F. Mori

Newly inaugurated French President Emmanuel Macron appointed his government on Wednesday, naming a mix of figures from across the political spectrum in a bid to bridge a right-left rift.

After naming conservative Edouard Philippe from the Republicans party as prime minister earlier this week, Macron tapped outgoing Socialist defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian as foreign minister and minister for Europe.

Bruno Le Maire, a German-speaking pro-European from the center-right Republicans party, was appointed finance minister.

Read more: Macron taps France's Berlin ambassador as key adviser

The Socialist mayor of Lyon Gerard Collomb was appointed interior minister, a key position as France deals with continued terror threats following a series of deadly attacks over the past two years.

Pro-EU and centrist politician Sylvie Goulard was named defense minister. 

Macron, a former economy minister in outgoing President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government before he split off to form his independent Republic on the Move (REM) party, has pledged to draw figures from across the political spectrum.

Drawing wide support across the political spectrum will be key as Macron seeks a legislative victory in parliamentary elections in June. The outcome of the vote will determine whether he is able to pursue his ambitious agenda.

Macron has also promised to maintain gender equality, but only one of the top five positions, defense, went to a female. The other 10 females in his 22 member cabinet will head up less high-profile portfolios, including culture, labor, sports and health.

The 39-year-old president had also vowed to bring in political newcomers. To meet that goal, he appointed well-known environmentalist Nicolas Hulot as ecology minister and a publisher as culture minister.

cw/rc (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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