Published: Wed, May 17, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

French President-elect Macron gears up for challenges ahead

French President-elect Macron gears up for challenges ahead

Emmanuel Macron's start-up political party was to announce on Thursday the names of several hundred candidates to do battle in a French parliamentary election that will decide how much power the centrist president-elect will enjoy once in office.

A poll showed that only 52% of voters want a pro-Macron government to emerge from the elections, while 42% favoured a legislature that would be a check on the new leader. Macron has promised that half of those candidates will be new to elected politics, as he was before his victory on Sunday.

Macron's year-old Republic on the Move party does not have any seats in the current parliament but it hopes in June to secure a majority that will allow him to push through economic reforms for reviving an economy beset by high unemployment and sluggish growth.

"It was the first time the men had appeared in public together since Macron resigned in August 2016 as Hollande's economy minister to run for president â€" a decision that was received coldly by the French leader at the time, according to French media.

Meanwhile, the leadership of The Republicans, the main right-wing party, urged top party officials to resist the temptation of defecting to Macron as the elections approached.

Second, even after winning the presidency, Macron has only gone halfway towards sealing his complete victory, as he is going to face an even tougher challenge next month, which is the election of the French National Assembly.

Francois Baroin, head of the Republicans' parliamentary election team, said on Tuesday they would abandon key proposals that their unsuccessful presidential candidate, Francois Fillon, stood for.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, who came fourth with a sizeable score in the presidential contest, said he hoped to gain control of the National Assembly and fight to stymie Macron thereafter.

Prime Minister Modi had earlier greeted Emmanuel Macron for his "emphatic victory" in the French Presidential election. En Marche official Jean-Paul Delevoye said "As of today, he [Valls] does not fit the criteria that would allow the investiture committee to take him on".

Baroin tried to highlight the risks facing defectors by citing the example of Manuel Valls, a former Socialist prime minister who said he was ready to back Macron in the June election.

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