Édouard Philippe, 46, is the mayor of important port town Le Havre in Normandy, and a member of the center-right Republican Party (Les Républicains). Philippe backed Alain Juppe, former Prime Minister in the party presidential primary last year.
The appointment of Philippe is Macron’s attempt to form a parliamentary majority ahead of the important legislative election in June.
Macron’s victory marked a shift in French politics, as both candidates of France’s two traditional mainstream parties, the Socialists and the Republicans, failed to reach the second round of the Presidential election.
The Republican Francois Fillon’s presidential bid was marked by corruption scandals and he ended third in the first round, behind Front National’s Marine Le Pen.
20 party MP’s broke ranks and issued a statement urging Les Républicains and centre-right allies to accept Macron’s “outstretched hand”, saying the right needed to “take the full measure of the political transformation taking place before their eyes”.
Macron’s movement, La République en Marche (La REM), has already attracted dozens of center-left MPs, after the Socialist Party’s debacle in the Presidential election.
Despite his success in early attempts to gather a parliamentary majority, Macron still lacks political experience and must rely on France’s political establishment for support.
Source: The Guardian
Photograph: Kamil Zihnioglu/AP