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French President Emmanuel Macron’s brand new cabinet champions women power

Team YS
19th May 2017
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Keeping his promise of gender balance in his government, Macron appoints nine men and nine women to his 18-member cabinet.

France's centrist President Emmanuel Macron has announced his cabinet, appointing a mix of political ideologies as part of his promise to bridge the right-left divide. He has also kept his promise of gender balance, and has named nine men and nine women to his 18-person cabinet.

France cabinet
From L to R: Sports Minister Laura Flessel, President Macron, and Defence Minister Sylvie Goulard

Sylvie Goulard has been named Defence Minister, while Muriel Pénicaud has been appointed Labour Minister and Agnes Buzyn Health Minister. Annick Girardin, who was the Minister for Public Services under former President François Hollande, is now the Overseas Territories Minister. French Olympic fencer Laura Flessel, meanwhile, has been named Sports Minister.

Among the gentlemen, Gérard Collomb will become Interior Minister, former presidential hopeful François Bayrou takes justice, and Jean-Yves Le Drian -- who was Defence Minister under Hollande -- takes foreign affairs and Europe.

Bruno Le Maire, who served under former centre-right President Nicolas Sarkozy, has been named Macron's Economy Minister. Nicolas Hulot, a well-known environmentalist, was named Ecology Minister.

The government appointments are part of a delicate balancing act that Macron has to perform ahead of the mid-June legislative elections.

By becoming president with no established party backing, he has already thrown traditional party loyalties to the wind, and early poll predictions show that his party, the Republic on the Move (REM) Party, will have more lower house seats than any other.

To make sure he ends up with a workable majority, surrounding himself with people plucked from both sides of the political divide broadens his support and weakens the main traditional parties -- Les Républicains and the Socialists. His decision to include politicians from across the political spectrum has in fact sent the French right into confusion.

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