The Front National have attacked Emmanuel Macron's cabinet
France’s new centrist president appointed a gender-balanced cabinet made up of an unprecedented mix of conservatives, socialists and newcomers yesterday in an attempt to end the left-right paradigm and broaden his political appeal.
But in a statement issued shortly after the new government was announced, a spokesperson for France’s right-wing Front National party said Mr Macron’s cabinet was made up of “old faces” who had “already proved their incompetence”.
The party, which is led by Marine Le Pen, Mr Macron’s opponent in the presidential election’s final round runoff, was referring to right-winger Bruno Le Maire, leftist Jean-Yves Le Drian and centrist François Bayou, three former ministers.
Mr Macron, the Front National said, has failed to make good on his promise to appoint a “government of renewal”.
Members of the centre-right The Republicans party, for their part, said that Mr Macron was attempting to muddle the political debate.
François Baroin, a hardline conservative and the head of the party’s parliamentary team, said that he “regretted” the fact that two prominent Republicans – economy minister Mr Le Maire and minister for public accounts Gérald Darmanin – had deserted their party and defected to Mr Macron’s camp.
Right-winger Bruno Le Maire has secured a role as Economy Minister
Bernard Accoyer, the centre-right party’s secretary-general, said that the main objective of Mr Macron’s provisional government was to “blur the lines and confuse the French people in the parliamentary election campaign”, before adding that those who had joined the government “no longer belonged to the party”.
Left-wingers reacted just as bitterly to the news. Firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon said Mr Macron had formed a “right-wing government,” and added he was “heartbroken” to learn that Nicolas Hulot, a popular journalist and environmental activist, had been named ecology minister.
Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, the Socialist party’s secretary-general, for his part said that it was a “new government, but not a government of renewal,” and lamented the fact that two top ministers, Mr Le Maire and Edouard Philippe, the new prime minister, were right-wingers.
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France's left-wing has accused Mr Macron of building a 'right-wing government'
Mr Macron’s first and biggest challenge as president is to make sure that his newly founded party, La République en marche (The Republic on the Move) – which currently has no seats in parliament –, wins a majority of seats in the parliamentary elections, which will be held on June 11 and June 18.
The president needs a parliamentary majority to govern, and to push through his proposed reforms.