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Macron includes all political shades in cabinet

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Alexis Kohler, Secretary General of the Elysee presidentiel Palace announces the composition of the French government, on May 17, 2017 in Paris, two days after the nomination for the French Prime Minister. AFP/St├ęphane de Sakutin

Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron appointed his first government on Wednesday
 


Having already made conservative Edouard Philippe, a member of The Republicans party, his prime minister earlier in the week, Macron picked Bruno Le Maire a pro-European, German-speaking rightist, also from The Republicans, as his economy minister.

As interior minister, he picked Gerard Collomb, the mayor of Lyon who was one of the first Socialists to be a vocal supporter of Macron.

His centrist ally Francois Bayrou was given the justice portfolio.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, outgoing Socialist defense minister and a close friend of ex-President Francois Hollande, was named foreign minister and minister for Europe.

Sylvie Goulard, a centrist EU lawmaker, was named defense minister.

The government appointments are part of a delicate balancing act 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 into the air, and early poll predictions show his start-up Republic on the Move (REM) party will come from nowhere to have more lower house seats than any other.

To make sure he ends up with a workable majority, surrounding himself with people tempted away from both sides of the political divide broadens his support and weakens the main traditional parties, LR and the Socialists. By doing so, though, he could also be increasing the risk of dissent in future.

Macron had promised to include people from civil society in his government. To that end, Nicolas Hulot, a well-known environmentalist, was named as ecology minister.

Other appointments include Marielle de Sarnez as junior Europe minister, Minister for Overseas departments Annick Girardin, and five-time Olympic medal winner Laura Flessel as Minister for Sports

His first government also keeps his promise of gender parity, with 11 women and 11 men making up its 22 cabinet ministers