Emmanuel Macron names Cabinet members in new government

The government appointed on Wednesday is a mix of 22 prominent and unknown figures from the left and the right, with half of them women.

On Sunday, Macron, who won the French runoff election on May 7, securing over 66 percent of votes, officially assumed office and on Monday, the new president announced that Philippe, the mayor of Le Havre and member of The Republicans' party, would serve as prime minister of the country.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, 69, who led France's military operations overseas as former President Francois Hollande's defence minister, will stay on in Macron's government as foreign minister.

Francois Bayrou, centrist leader of Modem, was named Justice Minister, and will be in charge of pushing through Macron's first law on "moralising" political life.

Bruno Le Maire, a German-speaking pro-European from the center-right Republicans party, was appointed finance minister.

But the list of those tipped to be part of the government included veteran Socialists, as well as conservatives, centrists and newcomers to French politics.

Meanwhile, French Polynesia's president Edouard Fritch has given his full backing to the new president, saying there is a shared vision of how Tahiti can help Mr Macron's new strategy for Europe.

On the occasion of the investiture of the new president, which took place on May 14, the Pope sent his good wishes for the exercise of the office, that it be "at the service" of all the people of France.

In the list appeared Sylvie Goulard, a centrist European Union lawmaker, in charge of defense affairs, Agnes Buzyn, solidarity and health minister and Muriel Penicaud, a minister in charge of employment issue.

France's new president has assembled his cabinet with figures from the left and right.

Baroin is leading LR's campaign for the parliamentary elections, which will be key for his party's future as well as Macron's chances of carrying out his pro-business, pro-EU policies.

"The main objective of this provisional government is to blur the lines and confuse the French people in the parliamentary election campaign", Republicans secretary-general Bernard Accoyer said in a statement, adding that those who joined the government no longer belonged to the party.

The announcement was initially scheduled for Tuesday but was postponed, in order for the state watchdog to carry out background checks into the tax affairs of the ministers.

"This is a French government like no other", said Ifop analyst Frederic Dabi. Macron has pledged to fight corruption after tax evasion and other scandals hit the previous government. He also could end up with a government led by an opposition party. His politics have been described as liberal and progressive, though he has said he hopes to transcend the divides of the left and right political parties. In keeping with his promise of gender balance, Macron named nine men and nine women.

  • Salvatore Jensen