First time in mod­ern French po­lit­i­cal his­tory that a pres­i­dent ap­points a premier from out­side his camp

New Straits Times - - World -

France for decades, and his startup cen­trist Repub­lic on the Move (REM) party, which is just a year old, needs to find a wide base of sup­port for the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions.

Philippe is a close as­so­ciate of for­mer prime min­is­ter Alain Juppe, who leads the moder­ate wing of The Repub­li­cans and has in­di­cated that he favours help­ing Macron. His ap­point­ment could draw more de­fec­tors from The Repub­li­cans.

It is the first time in mod­ern French po­lit­i­cal his­tory that a pres­i­dent has ap­pointed a prime min­is­ter from out­side his camp with­out be­ing forced to by a de­feat in par­lia­men­tary elec­tions.

Macron’s pres­i­den­tial win it­self was a seis­mic shift in a po­lit­i­cal land­scape dom­i­nated for decades by the two main left­wing and right-wing par­ties.

By ap­point­ing Philippe, Macron has passed over some loyal fol­low­ers, in­clud­ing Richard Fer­rand, a for­mer So­cial­ist who was one of the first to join Macron's cause last year and is REM sec­re­tary-gen­eral.

Philippe be­gan his po­lit­i­cal life as a so­cial­ist ac­tivist af­fil­i­ated with for­mer prime min­is­ter Michel Ro­card while he was a stu­dent, be­fore turn­ing to the right.

Last year he was part of Juppe’s un­suc­cess­ful cam­paign team in The Repub­li­cans pri­maries, and then joined the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of Fran­cois Fil­lon, the party’s nom­i­nee. Philippe quit that cause when the fi­nan­cial scan­dal over fake jobs for Fil­lon’s fam­ily hit his cam­paign.

Philippe, like Macron, at­tended the elite ENA school, and his po­lit­i­cal hero is Ro­card — another point in com­mon with the 39 year-old new pres­i­dent. Reuters


El­y­see sec­re­tary-gen­eral Alexis Kohler an­nounc­ing Edouard Philippe (in­set) as the French prime min­is­ter in Paris yes­ter­day.

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