Macron’s ‘rabbit’

Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption Mr Macron says he has someone in mind for prime minister Emmanuel Macron has gone from political newcomer to French president in just a few years. He has promised a new approach to politics but what exactly will his government look like?

Two days before polling day, Emmanuel Macron let slip on French radio that he had someone in mind for prime minister should he win Sunday’s vote.

He did not say who it was, simply tantalising listeners with a vague reference to “someone with experience of politics, and the skills to lead a parliamentary majority”.

But such is the secrecy around his plan for government that it was enough to send the French papers into a spin.

Macron’s meteoric rise

It is a taboo subject even within his campaign team, according to the daily newspaper Le Monde. “It’s like sailors who refuse to say the word ‘rabbit’ in case it brings bad luck,” one unnamed staffer told the paper.

On one level, his reticence is understandable. Forming a government is a delicate business at the best of times and for Mr Macron it is delicate in ways previous presidents can only imagine.

Big beasts vs newcomers

First there is the tension between the poetry of campaign and the prose of government. It was Mr Macron’s promise of renewal and change that won him his place in the Elysée Palace.

He has promised fresh faces from outside politics, an overhaul of the established political system and a new kind morality in political life.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption Could it be IMF head Christine Lagarde?

His En Marche (English: On The Move) movement has the feel of a start-up, with the average age said to be around 30. But he is also going to need experience, particularly in areas such as security.

Who to watch in Macron’s team

Alexis Kohler, 43: Special adviser and likely to be Mr Macron’s secretary general at the Elysée. Joined a shipping company after working as chief-of-staff for Mr Macron while in government

Brigitte Trogneux, 64: President-elect’s wife initially helped rewrite his speeches but is said to seek role as a “bridge” to the president

Ismaël Emelien, 29: Right-hand man and longtime friend, head of communications and strategic adviser, ex-colleague in economy ministry

Jean Pisani-Ferry, 65: Economics professor and government adviser, in charge of Macron economic programme and big ideas. Founded Brussels-based Bruegel think tank

Sophie Gagnant-Ferracci, 40: Head of campaign team. Highly experienced corporate lawyer and longstanding friend of president-elect through her husband, economist Marc Ferracci

François Bayrou, 65: Political heavyweight, head of centrist Democratic Movement party; his backing boosted Macron candidacy in February

“The young technocrats that surround Macron are impatient for their go,” says Pierre Haski, former deputy editor at the left-wing newspaper Libération.

“They think the oldies have made a mess of things

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