Putin Congratulates New French President in Call

The poll of 999 people was conducted on May 16-17. Six ministers running for office have been told they will have to forfeit their posts if they fail to get elected.

Having already made conservative Edouard Philippe his prime minister earlier in the week, Macron's pick for economy minister was Bruno Le Maire, a pro-European, German-speaking rightist from Philippe's The Republicans (LR) party.

"Macron on the move to the centre-right", headlined right-leaning newspaper Le Figaro, while left-leaning Liberation headlined its coverage of the cabinet line-up "Mostly of the right".

Having been an advisor and economy minister under Socialist Francois Hollande, Macron was accused by critics of being too left-wing during the vicious poll campaign.

In another nod to the importance of Europe for Macron, Sylvie Goulard, a centrist lawmaker in the European Parliament who speaks four languages and is better known in Brussels than in Paris, was named the defence minister.

But the poll's findings strengthen the chances that Macron will be able to count on parliamentary backing for his plans, which include corporate tax cuts, labour market reforms, and a 50 billion euro investment plan coupled with public spending savings.

Several ministers, including Le Maire, have said they will stand in the parliamentary election, and Philippe confirmed that they would have to quit the government if they lost.

Richard Ferrand, the former Socialist who helped Macron create his party, spent two years at high school in Germany.

Press freedom group Reporters Without Borders said the actions of Macron's young presidency were a "concerning signal to the press" and "could be used as a way of putting pressure on the media".

The party would need to win 289 seats to secure an absolute majority in the National Assembly, which has 577 seats altogether, including representatives from Corsica.A May 3 poll, conducted by OpinionWay and another pollster, found Macron's party on track to win 249 to 286 seats.

Any candidate who wins more than 12.5 percent of registered voters in the first round goes through to a decisive second round on June 18.

Only 28 of them are sitting MPs.

Macron will make a visit on Friday to a French military base in Mali, a country where multiple extremist groups pose a growing danger to the region.

Putin had appeared to back Macron's far-right opponent Marine Le Pen, hosting her for talks during the race which was marked by a large-scale hacking attack on Macron's campaign that was blamed on Russian Federation.

After the meeting, Macron talked by phone with Putin about possible cooperation on worldwide issues, including the fight against terrorism.

  • Zachary Reyes