A Nod Left
Listen to Today's Edition
French President Emmanuel Macron picked Elisabeth Borne as the country’s new prime minister this week, an appointment many observers described as an effort to attract left-leaning voters ahead of next month’s legislative elections, the Washington Post reported.
Borne’s selection marks the second time a woman has been appointed as France’s prime minister. Following her appointment, she dedicated the honor “to all the little girls…follow your dreams.”
Borne previously served as the head of three ministries during Macron’s first term. Although deeply rooted in left-wing politics, Borne is also respected among the center-right for having challenged France’s powerful unions.
Analyst Vincent Martigny described Macron’s pick as “a sort of continuity” but also a message to the left that he is “not completely hinging on the right.”
Last month, Macron won France’s presidential elections by uniting a broad but fragile alliance of center-right and left-leaning voters against his far-right rival Marine Le Pen, many of whom expressed lukewarm support for the incumbent. However, he faces a major challenge against leftist parties in the June elections.
It’s unclear if Borne’s appointment will appeal to left-leaning voters: During her tenure as transport minister, Borne pushed to slash benefits for railway employees, a major force in France. Even though France’s unemployment fell during her term, she received criticism from the left over unemployment benefit cuts.
Political observers also noted that Borne is not viewed as a skilled campaigner, which could limit her influence in the upcoming elections.