Wednesday, 17 April 2024
WorldReshuffle: Emmanuel Macron wants to take a new course for 2024

Reshuffle: Emmanuel Macron wants to take a new course for 2024

While the majority is out of breath at the end of the year and after the adoption of the immigration law which fractured Emmanuel Macron’s camp, the President of the Republic could resort to a reshuffle to give new impetus in his five-year term.

Emmanuel Macron’s camp is experiencing strong turbulence at the end of 2023. The adoption of the immigration law has finished fracturing the majority. To breathe new life into his five-year term, the President of the Republic is drawing the outlines of a ministerial reshuffle for January. “New momentum”, as the Élysée asserts, or drastic consequences for the ministers who opposed the immigration law? A double threat even hangs over the Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, who had also mentioned a possible withdrawal of the Legion of Honor from Gérard Depardieu, indicted for rape and sexual assault… before Emmanuel Macron publicly disavowed it by blindly defending the actor.

The reshuffle could also involve the departure of Elisabeth Borne, Prime Minister. Three people are expected to take his place: Sébastien Lecornu, Minister of the Armed Forces, Bruno Le Maire, and Jean-Yves Le Drian, former Minister of Foreign Affairs. The objective, “a rapid change to go back on the offensive strongly”, Emmanuel Macron is said to have said to one of his ministers, according to the Journal du Dimanche. And for good reason, 59 deputies abstained or voted against the immigration law. Aurélien Rousseau, Minister of Health, did not hesitate to resign. And her former ministry is already at the scene of a scandal, because her replacement, Agnès Firmin Le Bodo, is the subject of an investigation in the “framework of her role as pharmacist”. She would be the target of “an investigation open since June 2023”, according to Mediapart, which specifies that she would have “received gifts without declaring them” from the Urgo laboratory.

Sylvie Retailleau, Minister of Higher Education and Research, was one of five ministers who announced that they would resign if the immigration law was adopted. On Wednesday, December 20, she presented her resignation to Emmanuel Macron due to a “deep disagreement” on the measures concerning foreign students. On Thursday, those around her told AFP that her resignation had been refused and that the minister would remain “in post”. The President of the Republic and the head of government assured Sylvie Retailleau that the measures to which she fiercely opposes will be revised “if they were not censored by the Constitutional Council”.

What emerges is an undeniable impression of political exhaustion, that the government is navigating in a fog depending on circumstances. This kind of climate can quickly take on the appearance of the end of a reign. Emmanuel Macron, who reads the editorials and the newspapers, knows well that the derogatory criticisms are pouring out and that the opposition is outraged every week. Above all, the Head of State cannot continue his mandate as if there was no unease in his majority – affected by the turn taken by the immigration law. Obviously, he cannot continue with this government which seemed to endure, constantly compose or, conversely, multiply, the forceful attacks in front of Parliament. How to re-enthuse your political action?

The president undoubtedly does not have the ambition – disproportionate – to enthuse the French, but he certainly wants to give himself a new lease of life, set a new course, and this requires a change of team. A ministerial reshuffle would even already be in the cards, if we are to believe Europe 1, which is categorical on the subject: “A major reshuffle will take place around January 15”, announced in the media a close friend of the president. The private radio site even assures that there will be “changes of heads at all levels: from Matignon, to ministries, including a certain number of central administrations”. And “the president also intends to reshuffle part of the inner circle of his cabinet at the Élysée”. Enough to send a new message and build a new narrative a few months before the European elections.

According to a leading witness to the Borne-Macron relationship who spoke on Sunday in the columns of JDD, the executive couple would no longer really be on the same wavelength, and only a “change at Matignon, with a sort of new deal that shakes things up” could preserve the end of the five-year term. But who to replace Élisabeth Borne if the current Prime Minister?

For the Sunday newspaper, after pensions and immigration, the objective of full employment could be the political horizon envisaged by Emmanuel Macron to bounce back. And who better than a loyal man with a very political profile to take over the reins of Matignon? If the name of Bruno Le Maire is mentioned by certain observers, echoed by JDDfor the moment, however, everything remains only speculation.

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