Macron Cabinet reflects left, right and centre



After the independent Macron trounced establishment parties in the presidential election, the government is expected to be carefully balanced between left and right, women and men, new faces and political heavyweights.

Alexis Kohler, the newly appointed Elysee secretary general, presented the politically eclectic list of ministers in Paris on Wednesday afternoon.

Center-right Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, whom Macron tapped named Monday, is to lead the government at least until the elections.

French President Emmanuel Macron waits for a guest on the steps at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 16, 2017.

Le Maire had been touted as possible member of the cabinet in recent days and is one of three members of the Republicans party in Macron's government along with Prime Minister Philippe.

No sooner was Macron elected on May 7 than Le Maire was offering his services. "That's what the majority of our citizens want today, and our responsibility is enormous".

Jean-Yves Le Drian, who was Socialist President Francois Hollande's defense minister for five years, becomes foreign minister. "That can only shake up the system and bother The Republicans, in particular".

Ahead of legislative elections in June, Republican party campaign chief François Baroin accused Macron of "putting a bomb under politics rather than remodelling it".

Le Drian, who has nurtured close ties with African and Middle Eastern leaders and developed Paris' relationship in Asia, is likely to leave much of the European portfolio to junior minister Marielle De Sarnez, a centrist European expert who has been a member of the European parliament since 1999.

By becoming president with no established party backing he has already thrown traditional party loyalties into the air, and early poll predictions show his start-up Republic on the Move will have more lower house seats than any other.

The initiative has also been criticised on the left, with defeated Socialist presidential candidate Benoît Hamon among the dissenters.

"They're trying to make a consensus government in order to get things done, so for the moment I'll give Macron the benefit of the doubt", said Clairinvest fund manager Ion-Marc Valahu.

Other positions were filled by ministers from civil society.

The delay in announcing the names on Tuesday was officially due to the need to carry out more extensive screening of candidates, but could also reflect the difficulties in carrying out the delicate balancing act.

Another centrist, Sylvie Goulard will lead the Defence Ministry, while Socialist Gerard Collomb will head the Interior Ministry.

The pope's telegram urged Macron to "always take care to build a more just and more fraternal society, with respect to differences and attention to people who are in situations of precariousness or exclusion".

Olympic fencing champion Laura Flessel was named sports minister, star environmentalist Nicolas Hulot - who had spurned multiple offers of cabinet roles from previous presidents - accepted the ecology brief and crusading publisher Francoise Nyssen took charge of culture.

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