France gets 2nd female premier in Elisabeth Borne

Former labor minister will lead revamped government in President Emmanuel Macron's second term following April reelection

Shweta Desai   | 16.05.2022
France gets 2nd female premier in Elisabeth Borne


Making her France’s second woman prime minister ever, former Labor Minister Elisabeth Borne on Monday was appointed the country’s new premier, President Emmanuel Macron’s office announced on Monday.

“Madam Prime Minister, ecology, health, education, full employment, democratic revival, Europe and security: together, with the new government, we will continue to act tirelessly for the French people,” Macron said on Twitter, welcoming her appointment.

Borne will lead a revamped government to head Macron’s second term in office after his April 24 reelection. She succeeds Jean Castex, who submitted his resignation earlier in the evening.

A socialist, Borne joined Macron’s Republic on the Move (LREM) party in 2017 and went on to head the Transport Ministry (2017-2019) and the Environment Ministry (2019–2020).

Edith Cresson, premier under the Francois Mitterrand government from May 1991 to April 1992, told BFMTV news it was high time for France to appoint a female prime minister again. “We waited so long, and we talk about it as something extraordinary when I don't see where the problem is," she said, hailing Borne as a “very good choice.”

Speculation over Macron’s second-term government has been rife, with exit polls suggesting the French favor a left-leaning prime minister. After Macron’s hard-won victory over far-right Marine Le Pen, he pledged a “renewed method” to govern France, in a break from his first last term. He suggested he would appoint a premier interested in social and environmental issues.

Borne’s appointment got a positive response from within the government, but the opposition was displeased. Far-left politician Jean-Luc Melenchon, said to have wanted the post, warned she would usher in “new season of social abuse." Le Pen said Macron demonstrated “his inability to unite and the will to pursue his policy of contempt, deconstruction of the state, social destruction, tax racketeering, and laxity.”

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