Vautrin, Azoulay, Touraine… Update on the candidates vying for the post of Prime Minister

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Catherine Vautrin, Audrey Azoulay, Catherine Borne… A few hours before the end of the suspense, the identity of the next Prime Minister remains a mystery. Since the re-election of Emmanuel Macron, many names have been circulating in the press but, at present, that of the person who will succeed Jean Castex is still unknown.

This Monday, May 16, the current head of government should announce his resignation and leave Matignon, leaving his office free for his successor.

While the official announcement from the President is still eagerly awaited by French citizens, a few clues have been dropped since April 24, 2022. Clément Beaune, Secretary of State for European Affairs, had notably announced “Emmanuel Macron has the wish, of course, of a female appointment to Matignon”.

Similarly, the Head of State also hinted that he would like a more left-leaning Prime Minister and that she would be in charge of “ecological planning”.

For the past few weeks, rumors have been swirling. Some names circulate more than others and it is very likely that that of the next resident of the Hotel Matignon is among them.

It is one of the names that have been circulating the most in recent days. At 61, this right-wing figure joined Emmanuel Macron in February and could be a very serious candidate for the job.

Former minister of Jacques Chirac under the Dominique de Villepin government, close to Nicolas Sarkozy and current president of the urban community of Greater Reims, Catherine Vautrin has a solid experience in politics.

“She has a lot of experience and works thoroughly on her files, she has both moderate and very solid convictions, she loves people and has a deeply humanist background: three character traits that are not so often found in policy”, pleads a local elected official close to her with our colleagues from AFP, reports 20 Minutes.

However, his possible appointment is far from unanimous within the majority. Indeed, some of the elected representatives of Renaissance, the new name of Emmanuel Macron’s party, reproach him for his positions concerning marriage for all. According to BFMTV, Catherine Vautrin had indeed voted against the bill legalizing it in 2013.

In addition, her lack of ecological commitment also raises questions from some members of the majority party since the Prime Minister should be in charge of “ecological planning”. A requirement that Audrey Azoulay, on the other hand, seems to meet.

On May 11, 2022, the Canard Enchaîné suggested that Audrey Azoulay could well be the new Prime Minister of Emmanuel Macron. At 49, she seems to tick all the required boxes and is therefore a serious candidate for the job.

Former Minister of Culture under the socialist governments of Bernard Cazeneuve and Manuel Valls, Audrey Azoulay already has experience in politics and is rather marked on the left, an important point for the President of the Republic.

The former enarque is currently exercising her second term as Director General of Unesco, and her work in this position is particularly commended. Being in charge of ecological planning at the head of the government would be a role that could suit him. His tenure at UNESCO was indeed marked by his commitment to the planet.

In February 2022, Marisol Touraine had shown her support for Emmanuel Macron, judging him as “the only one who has the solidity to face challenges and carry a positive vision of the future”, in an interview with Parisian.

Since the re-election of the latter, his name has been circulating more and more about a possible appointment. On May 7, it was her presence at the re-elected president’s swearing-in ceremony that reignited the rumors and brought the 63-year-old woman back to center stage.

She is a former minister of François Hollande and has a solid experience in the political world as well as a certain social fiber, which seems sought after by Emmanuel Macron.

Since 2019, she has been president of Unitaid, an international organization hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva, which aims to reduce the price of drugs for AIDS or tuberculosis patients, reports Midi-Libre.

Current Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne has been mentioned as a candidate for Matignon since the victory of Emmanuel Macron at the end of April. She seems to tick all the boxes sought by the President of the Republic and is part of his close entourage.

Within the Philippe and Castex governments, she was successively Minister of Transport, then of Ecology and Labour, three central areas in the project of the President of the Republic, which therefore make her a significant candidate.

Rather anchored on the left, it has long been close to the Socialist Party. In September 2020, Elisabeth Borne joined the centre-left party Territoires de progress, founded by ministers Jean-Yves Le Drian and Olivier Dussopt, reports La Dépêche.