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Emmanuel Macron (right) shakes hands with Edouard Philippe (left), then mayor of Le Havres in Feburary 2016 © Loic Venance

Macron to announce cabinet

17/05/17Government

An appeal to support the political project of French President Emmanuel Macron is causing disarray among conservatives as Macron prepares to reveal his new cabinet.

Some 170 elected officials from the right have signed a statement supporting Macron after he named Republican Édouard Philippe as prime minister.

One Republican has accused Macron of ‘blowing up’ the political landscape.

Macron’s cabinet is expected to span the left, right and centre.

His party was due to announce the reduced group of 15 ministers a day later than expected at 15:00 CET, citing the need for extensive background checks on tax records and any potential conflicts of interest.

Macron has promised a gender-balanced cabinet and there are suggestions it could include figures from civil society, economists, judges and entrepreneurs as well as politicians.

Among the conservatives said to be in the running are Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Bruno Le Maire and Thierry Breton.

Kosciusko-Morizet was among more than 170 elected conservatives who agreed to “seize the outstretched hand” of Macron and support his proclaimed political project of bridging the divide between left and right long entrenched in French politics.

However, their move has been met by a counter-statement signed by more than 570 conservatives.

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

The Republicans’ deputy secretary general Eric Ciotti was quoted as calling the pro-Macron initiative “a slap” rather than an outstretched hand.

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

“Who can think that the left will pull itself together if it is part of a coalition led by a member of the Republican Party?” he said.

Pan European Networks Ltd