New government: the Pap Ndiaye surprise and a game of musical chairs

L’historian Pap Ndiaye to Education and a vast game of musical chairs: a month after the re-election of Emmanuel Macron, and three weeks before the legislative elections, France set up a new government on Friday which oscillates between renewal and recycling .

Comprising 14 men and 14 women, “it is a joint government, balanced between some who have already been ministers in recent years and then new figures” with “personalities who come from the left, from the center of the right”, assured Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on the set of 20 hours of TF1.

Among the surprises given on the steps of the Elysée Palace by Secretary General Alexis Kohler are the allocation of the portfolio of Minister of Foreign Affairs to the diplomat Catherine Colonna or the arrival at Culture of Rima Abdul Malak, until there adviser to Emmanuel Macron.

But the center of attraction is the arrival at the Education Ministry of 56-year-old Pap Ndiaye, who until now ran the Palais de la Porte Dorée, and therefore the Museum of the History of Immigration. .

This recognized intellectual, specialist in the social history of the United States and minorities, will be responsible for succeeding Jean-Michel Blanquer at the head of a live ministry, crossed by social tensions.

The extreme right immediately focused its criticism on this choice.

“The appointment of Pap Ndiaye, an assumed indigenist, to National Education is the last stone in the deconstruction of our country, its values ​​and its future”, denounced Marine Le Pen.

Eric Zemmour assured that “it is the whole history of France which will be revisited in the light of indigenism, woke ideology and islamo-leftism”.

Elisabeth Borne denounced “perfectly caricatural” criticism.

Ms. Colonna is already experienced in the workings of the state, having been Minister of European Affairs from 2005 to 2007 and spokesperson for the Elysée under Jacques Chirac.

The new head of French diplomacy, who takes up her post in the midst of the war in Ukraine, has been ambassador to the United Kingdom since September 2019.

The Mayor N.2

Like the appointment on Monday at Matignon of Elisabeth Borne, former Minister of Labor, the first government of Macron’s second five-year term is also marked by the renewal of several figures from Act I.

Some keep their portfolios: this is the case of the heavyweights Bruno Le Maire (Economy, finance and industrial and digital sovereignty), who obtains the status of N.2 from the government, Gérald Darmanin (Interior) and especially Eric Dupond-Moretti (Justice), despite conflicting relations with the magistrates’ unions. Clément Beaune remains for his part the Mr. Europe of the executive, and Franck Riester in Foreign Trade.

Most of the movement resembles a game of musical chairs, which makes the Insoumis Jean-Luc Mélenchon say that “under the dull and gray appearances, without audacity, we find the main figures of social abuse and of the ecological irresponsibility of the previous government”.

“A right-wing government that does not care about ecology and social issues”, added Julien Bayou, national secretary of EELV.

This is how Amélie de Montchalin (ex-Public Service) becomes Minister for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion and Agnès Pannier-Runacher (ex-Industry) obtains the portfolio of Minister for Energy Transition .

The two women will form with Elisabeth Borne, directly in charge of ecological and energy planning, the “ecological” triumvirate of the government.

“An unprecedented organization in this field”, underlined Ms. Borne, who pleads to “decline” the ecological transition “in all public policies”.

Sébastien Lecornu (ex-Overseas) picks up the Armies to replace Florence Parly. Marc Fesneau (ex-Relations with Parliament) will go to Agriculture, his predecessor Julien Denormandie having indicated that he now wants to devote himself to his family.

Brigitte Bourguigon (ex-Autonomy) takes the lead by going to Health, while the Ministry of Labor falls to Olivier Dussopt (ex-Budget), with the pension reform in the background.

A figure in the management of the Covid crisis, Olivier Véran takes charge of Relations with Parliament, while Gabriel Attal is sent to Public Accounts. Olivia Grégoire succeeds him as spokesperson.

Among the political entrants, the arrival of Damien Abad reflects the continued fracturing of the right by Emmanuel Macron. Former boss of the LR deputies, who slammed the door of his party this week, obtains a ministry of Solidarity, autonomy and disabled people.

Close to Edouard Philippe, the mayor of Angers Christophe Béchu has been appointed minister delegate in charge of local authorities.

Ministers in reserve

And some historical walkers are rewarded, in the forefront of which the boss of the party Stanislas Guerini, Minister of Transformation and the public service, the president of the Commission of the Laws of the Assembly Yaël Braun-Pivet, promoted to Overseas, or even Amélie Oudéa-Castera, former CEO of the Tennis Federation (FFT), who accesses Sports.

The president of the University of Paris-Saclay Sylvie Retailleau takes the head of Higher Education and Research, and the magistrate Isabelle Rome will be in charge of gender equality.

This new government, which is due to meet in the Council of Ministers on Monday, will lead the battle for the legislative elections of June 12 and 19, which could give rise to another wave of appointments.

He will also have to quickly rise to the front on the subject of purchasing power, in an inflationary context. “We have of course heard the message of the concerns of the French”, assured Ms. Borne, recalling that the first bill of her mandate will include a package of measures on the question.

But the ministers will also have to be discreet on their fields, the reserve period starting … Monday.

21/05/2022 11:40:50 – Paris (AFP) – © 2022 AFP

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New government: the Pap Ndiaye surprise and a game of musical chairs

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