Elisabeth Borne becomes new French PM, second woman to hold top post

Elisabeth Borne was named France’s next prime minister on Monday, making her the country’s second female prime minister. Borne, 61, takes over from Jean Castex, whose departure had been expected following President Emmanuel Macron’s re-election last month.

In the next days, Macron and Borne are anticipated to nominate the whole administration. Borne is the second woman to serve as Prime Minister, following Edith Cresson, who served under Socialist President Francois Mitterrand from 1991 to 1992.

Since 2020, she has been the Minister of Labor in Macron’s previous administration. She had previously served as Minister of Transport and subsequently Minister of Environmental Transition under Macron.

On Monday, Castex went to the Elysee presidential palace to formally tender his resignation, which the president “accepted,” according to the Elysee.

Presidents in France sometimes have more than one prime minister during their mandates.

The incoming prime minister’s first task will be to ensure that Macron’s centrist party and its supporters perform well in the June legislative election in France. The two-round vote will determine which political party controls the majority of seats in the National Assembly, which has ultimate authority over the Senate in France’s legislative process.

Macron also pledged a law to address France’s growing cost of living, which includes rising food and energy prices. His new cabinet will develop it, and it is likely to be delivered shortly after the legislative election.

If Macron’s party wins a majority in the Assembly, the prime minister will have to guarantee that the president’s promised pension changes, such as raising the minimum retirement age from 62 to 65, are implemented. Workers, unions, and left-wing voters have all condemned the proposed reforms.

Macron also stated that the incoming prime minister will be in charge of “green planning,” with the goal of hastening the implementation of climate-related legislation in France. In his second term, Macron pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions “twice as quickly.”

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