Tuesday, 14 May, 2024

France’s Macron promises different approach at second-term inauguration

Emmanuel Macron was sworn in for his second term as France’s president promising to act with “respect” and “consideration.”

Macron's new term formally begins on the evening of May 13 and his prime minister, Jean Castex, remains in office for the time being.
Macron’s new term formally begins on the evening of May 13 and his prime minister, Jean Castex, remains in office for the time being. (Reuters)

France's Emmanuel Macron has been swornin for his second term as president, promising tolead the country with a "new method" as his political rivalskicked off campaigning for next month's legislative elections.

In a country where presidents rarely get re-elected, Macronwon 58.5 percent of the votes in the second round against thefar-right's Marine Le Pen, despite strong opposition to hispro-business policies and a proposal to raise the retirementage.

In a short speech on Saturday, he spoke of the need to innovate at atime of unprecedented challenges for the world and for France,and said his second term would be "new" and not merely acontinuation of his first five years in office.

"We need to invent a new method together, far from tiredtraditions and routines, with which we can build a newproductive, social and ecological contract," he said, promisingto act with "respect" and "consideration".

READ MORE:France's left-wing parties seal historic alliance to take on Macron

He highlighted the threat posed by Russia's incursion intoUkraine, and global environmental concerns.

Among the 500 guests present were former presidents FrancoisHollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, former prime ministers EdouardPhilippe, Manuel Valls, Alain Juppe and Jean-Pierre Raffarin, aswell as religious leaders and other state figures.

Hollande, who threw his support behind Macron in the April24 second-round vote, told reporters after the ceremony thatMacron could not afford to reproduce the "methods of yesterday".

"What we noticed in this election was that there are morecitizens (that voted) out of rejection, rather than out ofhope," Hollande said.

READ MORE:Macron warns Le Pen risks 'civil war' in France with headscarf ban

New political challenge

A newly united political left – a coalition formed betweenHollande's Socialist Party, the hard-left La France Insoumise(LFI) party, the Greens, and the Communist Party – is hoping todeprive Macron of a majority in the June 12-19 parliamentaryvote.

The once-dominant parties of Hollande and Sarkozy – theSocialists on the left and Les Republicains on the right – havebeen severely weakened in recent years, in part due to the riseof Macron's political movement.

As campaigning for the June elections begins, LesRepublicains was also due to hold a national council meeting onSaturday.

Macron will visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg for "Europe Day" on Monday.

On the same day, for the first trip abroad since hisinauguration, he heads to Berlin to meet German Chancellor OlafScholz.

Macron, 44, is the first president who does not belong to acoalition government to be re-elected since the formation of theFifth Republic in 1958.

READ MORE:The 2022 elections are a monument to France’s deteriorated democracy

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