ODD: Four of Macron’s Ministers Quit in 48 Hours, Socialist Unknowns Fill Positions
It appears that Emmanuel Macron is already carving out his legacy as one of the most bizarre leaders in modern history.
Macron was elected on a pledge to “clean up politics” and whether or not he’s doing that yet is not wholly clear. In the interim, though, he continues to court controversy in a way that few have in the past. First and foremost, his campaign was plagued by scandals dubbed “#MacronGate”, the details of which are vague and the veracity of the documents unclear in full. Following his election, he began pushing a bill to put France in a permanent state of emergency.
Four cabinet members have resigned this week after being put under preliminary investigation in two separate scandals, leaving Macron’s prime minister, Édouard Philippe, under pressure to find replacements while maintaining a pledge to maintain gender and party-political parity.
François Bayrou, president of the MoDem party, – allies of Macron’s La République en Marche – who stepped down on Wednesday, was replaced by Nicole Belloubet, a figure almost unknown to the wider public and the first woman nominated to France’s constitutional council.
Belloubet, a technocrat and legal expert from the left, is a former local and regional councillor in the Toulouse region.
Florence Parly, another high-ranking French civil servant and former business leader, was named defence minister. Parly served in the Socialist government of prime minister Lionel Jospin between 2000 and 2002. She later joined Air France as deputy general director, before moving to the state-run rail company SNCF.
Annick Girardin, a third, largely unknown junior minister who served in François Hollande’s Socialist government was named overseas minister.
Nathalie Loiseau, a French diplomat, was appointed European affairs minister.
Macron appeared to have ditched his centrist allies after two more high-profile government ministers resigned on Wednesday after a month in office.
Now, Macron named a group of virtual unknowns to a series of senior government cabinet posts rather than the centrist allies one would expect. Macron is installing a technocratic, near-dictatorial, socialist cabinet and in that same breath the argument could be made that he is consolidating his government’s power and achieving autonomous rule through this. The barrier at the end of the race, however, will always be the European Union.
Macron is clearly the figure one elects under the auspice of a certain ideal that flip-flops to a completely different, yet not entirely alien ideal. Consider this, his shift, in terms of cabinet members, comes after his party won sweeping victories in parliamentary elections. Since then, Macron also is consolidating his power through control of the media. We are witnessing a power grab by a young and driven leader, but is the power grab for the good of the people?
Macron’s moral compass might be misguided, but then again, he could be attempting to rectify the Muslim/refugee problem, and the problem of unruly and insubordinate youth, violent protesters and rioters, etc. Macron is nicknamed “Jupiter” for a reason – Jupiter is the “all-powerful Roman god of heaven and Earth who embodied a sense of morality, obligation and dirty to correct [behavior]”, but the leaked documents seem to show a different side of the politician.
All-in-all, it is extremely difficult to place where Macron stands and who Macron is, but his impact on the state of the world could be massive.