PRESIDENT Macron has unveiled a gender-balanced cabinet in accordance with an earlier pledge, with 11 of 22 new ministerial posts taken by women.
Sylvie Goulard is defence minister while Olympic fencing champion Laura Flessel is sports minister. Bruno Le Maire is economy minister, Gerard Collomb is interior minister and François Bayrou is justice minister. Mr Macron’s decision to pluck figures from across the political spectrum has set the right into disarray. Mr Le Maire is a conservative moderate, Mr Collomb is the Socialist mayor of Lyon and Mr Bayrou is a veteran centrist.
Some 170 elected officials from the right were earlier criticised by hundreds of other lawmakers after they signed a statement backing Mr Macron. One accused Mr Macron of “blowing up” the political landscape. Other ministerial appointees include Jean-Yves Le Drian, in charge of defence under President François Hollande, who will become foreign minister, and Nicolas Hulot, a well-known environmentalist, who becomes ecology minister. Long time Macron supporter and campaign manager Richard Ferrand is rewarded with the territorial cohesion portfolio. Other ministerial appointees include Agnès Buzyn – Health, Murielle Pénicaud – Labour, Mounir Mahjoubi – junior minister for Digital Affairs, Françoise Nyssen – Culture, Jean-Michel Blanquer – National Education and Jacques Mézard — Agriculture and Food.
The announcement was delayed after candidates were background-checked for their tax records and any potential conflicts of interest. It comes amid consternation among forces of both the left and right at Mr Macron’s offer of “an outstretched hand” to join him in his proclaimed political project of bridging the divide long entrenched in French politics. After he named Republican Edouard Philippe as prime minister on Monday, more than 170 elected conservatives agreed to sign up to his project, some claiming they were witnessing the “transformation” of politics.
But their move was met by a counter-statement signed by more than 570 conservatives. Meanwhile the Republicans’ deputy secretary general, Eric Ciotti, was quoted as calling the pro-Macron initiative “a slap” rather than an outstretched hand – suggesting supporting Republicans were opportunistically seeking a role in the new government
“Who can think that the left will pull itself together if it is part of a coalition led by a member of the Republican party?” he said.—bbcnews