Edouard Philippe appointed as new prime minister of France

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Edouard Philippe

French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed Edouard Philippe, a relatively unknown 46-year-old lawmaker, as prime minister, making good on campaign promises to repopulate French politics with new faces.

Alexis Kohler, Macron’s new general secretary at the presidential Elysee Palace, made the announcement Monday.

Édouard Philippe (46) is a French lawyer and politician. A member of the Union for a Popular Movement, later the Republicans, he has served as a member of the National Assembly representing the 7th constituency of Seine-Maritime since 2012, as well as mayor of Le Havre and president of the agglomeration community of Le Havre since 2010. He also authored political thrillers.

Though Philippe joined the campaign of François Fillon for the 2017 presidential election after his victory in the primary, he quit on 2 March 2017 after the candidate was summoned to appear before judges amidst the Fillon affair.

He did not seek to retain his seat in the legislative elections in June to avoid broaching the law limiting the accumulation of mandates. Following the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the presidential election, Philippe was speculated to be a potential choice for Prime Minister, representing three essential aspects: political renewal (at the age of only 46 years old), affiliation with the moderate right, and familiarity with the political terrain.

Philippe’s appointment ticks several boxes for the 39-year-old Macron, France’s youngest president, who took power on Sunday. Philippe’s age reinforces the generational shift in France’s corridors of power and the image of youthful vigor that Macron is cultivating.

Philippe could also attract other Republicans to Macron’s cause as the centrist president works to piece together a majority in parliament to pass his promised economic reforms.