France’s Macron takes power, now faces challenge of governing
Emmanuel Macron is being inaugurated president of France over the course of a day filled with pomp and ceremony. After a bold and unexpected rise to the top, he now faces the task of governing a polarised nation
DW—France’s new president Emmanuel Macron was officially taking over the reigns of power on Sunday, facing the challenges of a polarized country, high unemployment, terrorism, and working with Germany to reform the EU.
The 39-year-old independent will take over from outgoing socialist president Francois Hollande, who leaves office after 5 years as the most unpopular president in French history.
The former investment banker and economy minister in the socialist government will meet privately with Hollande at the Elysee presidential palace to discuss sensitive issues, including the country’s nuclear codes.
After the transfer of power, a 21gun military salute will ring through Paris, kicking off a day of ceremonies, speeches, parades, and meetings.
Then the hard work of governing begins. Macron plans to appoint a prime minister by Monday and a government on Tuesday. On Monday, he will head to Berlin to meet with chancellor Angela Merkel, highlighting the importance of the Franco-German relationship at the heart of an embattled EU.
But to push through his ambitious and controversial reform agenda, Macron will have to run another campaign for two-round vote June parliamentary elections that French media is dubbing a “third round of the presidential election.”
Macron won the second round of presidential elections last week, but he is aware that many voters backed him only to thwart Marine Le Pen’s far-right Front National.
The new president will need a majority to push through his pro-business reform agenda, especially controversial labour reforms designed to battle persistently high unemployment.
He will come up against conservative republicans, socialists, the Front National, radical left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon and powerful unions.The republicans would like to force Macron into a coalition.
Macron’s year-old Republic on the Move political movement that he created for his presidential bid plans to field candidates in nearly every district of the country.
This week it unveiled 428 of its 577 candidates, half of which have no previous political experience. Macron said he wants fresh faces in politics.
The 39-year-old independent will take over from outgoing socialist president Francois Hollande