French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe resigned from his post on Friday amid a reshuffling of President Emmanuel Macron’s Cabinet to bring in new leadership as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
Philippe is being replaced by Jean Castex, a top civil servant and local mayor who helped successfully lead France out of its coronavirus lockdown, according to The New York Times. Philippe was also a small-town mayor at the time he was appointed by Macron.
“I would have to make choices to lead the new path,” Macron said in an interview with French media this week. “These are new objectives of independence, reconstruction, reconciliation and new methods to be implemented.”
Castex served as an adviser to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. He will be tasked with forming a government as the country continues to suffer the economic toll of the coronavirus outbreak.
Macron is reportedly trying to distance himself from Philippe, the most popular member of his Cabinet who has polled higher than the president himself recently, after several losses in municipal elections this week for the president’s centrist party.
Replacing a prime minister during a president’s term is common in French politics, and Macron still has 2 years left in his five-year term. The French president is expected to replace more Cabinet positions soon.
In France, the president, who is voted in by the French electorate, appoints the prime minister and other Cabinet members, who are accountable to the parliament.
New York Times