Emmanuel Macron names centre-right politician Edouard Philippe as French Prime Minister

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The Independent Online

France's newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron has named Édouard Philippe as Prime Minister, according to a statement from the Élysée Palace. 

The 46-year-old lawmaker and mayor of Le Havre is from the conservative Les Republicains party. He had been tipped as a favourite for the role as Mr Macron attempts to gain support from both the left and right ahead of June's Parliamentary elections. 

The move by centrist Mr Macron will be seen as a strategic one as France's youngest leader tries to broaden his appeal. It is the first time in modern French political history that a president has appointed a prime minister from outside his camp without being forced to by a defeat in parliamentary elections. 

The former banker's presidential win itself represented a seismic shift in a political landscape dominated for decades by the two main left-wing and right-wing parties.

One of his key campaign pledges was to dismantle the political divide between left and right. 

French presidents are able to appoint their own choice for prime minister, but only if they hold a majority in the National Assembly. The outcome of next month's legislative elections will determine whether he will be forced to replace Mr Philippe. 

Mr Macron is expected to move quickly on both domestic and foreign issues, just a day into his presidency. He will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday in a bid to affirm his commitment to the European project, one of his aides said.

He is also expected to announce his cabinet appointments on Tuesday. 

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