Home World Europe Macron to unveil ‘balanced’ cabinet, promises new faces

Macron to unveil ‘balanced’ cabinet, promises new faces

PARIS

French President Emmanuel Macron was set to unveil his cabinet on Tuesday, a delicate balancing act for the centrist who has promised to include faces from the left and right as well as political newcomers.

But his office said that the announcement has been delayed until Wednesday.

The delay until 1300 GMT on Wednesday was to allow checks to be made on the “tax status” of potential ministers and any possible conflicts of interest, the presidency said.

On Monday, his first day in office, Macron named centre-right MP Edouard Philippe as prime minister and travelled to Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on reforming the EU.

On Tuesday, he and Philippe were finalising a government which Macron said will supersede France’s entrenched left-right divide and breathe new life into the country’s jaded political landscape.

Macron has said half his ministers will be women and that some will be high achievers in business, academia, the civil service or the NGO world.

Some could be replaced after next month’s parliamentary election, depending on how many seats Macron’s fledgling Republique En Marche party wins.

So far his appointments to his presidential team have all gone to men under 50, most of them graduates like him of France’s elite ENA college for senior public servants — which has turned out generations of French politicians.

His choice of Philippe, 46, for prime minister was seen as a strategic pick by the 39-year-old president, who is trying to woo modernisers of all stripes to his side.

Macron has already convinced dozens of Socialist MPs to run on his general election ticket.

But he also needs to win over a part of the right to deliver on his promise of a cross-party approach and weaken his opponents ahead of the two-round June 11-18 parliamentary vote.

Philippe — a moderate member of the Republicans party whose presidential candidate crashed out in the election’s first round — is seen as Macron’s Trojan horse on the right.

While some in the Republicans fumed at Philippe’s appointment, others welcomed it and urged the parties to accept Macron’s “outstretched hand”. “A whole section of the centre and the right is ready to cross the line,” the conservative Le Figaro daily wrote Tuesday.

Among the people tipped for cabinet jobs are ex-agriculture minister Bruno Le Maire, centrist MEP Sylvie Goulard, Lyon’s Mayor Gerard Collomb and popular outgoing Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Agence France-Presse