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