The French president, Emmanuel Macron, will announce a new cabinet within days after his start-up centrist political movement swept to a commanding majority in parliamentary elections on a promise of renovating the country’s politics.
The prime minister, Édouard Philippe, resigned on Monday as required after a parliamentary poll. Christophe Castaner, a government spokesman, told RTL radio that Philippe would be reappointed at the head of the new government “over the next few days”.
Macron’s La République En Marche (La REM) party, which did not exist 16 months ago, won 350 of the 577 lower house seats in Sunday’s election with its centre-right ally, MoDem, securing the majority needed to push through far-reaching economic and social reforms.
Castaner said the reshuffle would be “technical and not far-reaching”, adding that the record-high abstention rate in the election – only 43% of voters turned out for Sunday’s second round – highlighted the need for political change.
The turnout represented “a collective failure” for France’s political class, he said. While the government had “a clear majority that we hope will prove effective”, he added, “the real victory will be in five years’ time when we have really changed things”.
One definite change in the cabinet is set to be the departure of Richard Ferrand, the minister of territorial planning and a close friend of Macron’s, who is facing a preliminary investigation for nepotism and financial impropriety.
Le Monde newspaper reported that Ferrand, who ran the president’s election campaign, had agreed to stand down from the government and would instead lead the La REM parliamentary group.
The new parliament, which holds its first session next week, will look very different: 75% of its MPs have not previously occupied a seat in the assembly, their average age has fallen seven years to 48, and a record number – 223, or 38.7% – are women.
Macron, a former investment banker…