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French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed Edouard Philippe as France’s new prime minister.
Philippe, the mayor of Le Havre in Northern France, will replace Bernard Cazeneuve who assumed office in late 2016 under Francois Hollande’s presidency. The appointment is Macron’s first major decision as president and will be critical to his future success.
The prime minister, who presides over government, will be instrumental in rallying support to help Macron form a parliamentary majority in next month’s elections. Without such backing, Macron would struggle to implement his economic reform agenda.
Macron is expected to announce his full government line up on Tuesday.
Philippe is not a member of the president’s center-left La Republique En Marche movement, but a center-right Republican, who supported the presidential campaign of Francois Fillon until the candidate was embroiled in an embezzlement scandal.
It is thought that the appointment will help Macron amass support from the political right.
So far Macron has presented 480 candidates ahead of the National Assembly elections on June 11 and 18. Approximately 80 percent of the nominees are new to politics – they include shopkeepers, mathematicians and a bullfighter – and reflect Macron’s promise to move French politics closer to French people.
Macron was inaugurated as France’s 25th President at a swearing in ceremony in Paris, Sunday. The 39-year-old former-investment banker was elected with 66 percent of votes in a final round runoff against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen on May 7.
Later today Macron will travel to Germany to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel. As the premiers of the euro zone’s two largest economies, the meeting will be a significant one and will set the tone for future EU talks.