Former French minister Richard Ferrand, who has been fighting accusations of improper financial dealings during most of his few weeks in office, was elected on Saturday to lead President Emmanuel Macron’s lawmakers in parliament
“I thank the deputies for their confidence… We have a strong obligation to succeed. The French people no longer want intentions, they want results,” Ferrand said in a statement. Some 306 deputies voted for Ferrand and two abstained.
Macron’s year-old Republic on the Move party (LREM) won a huge parliamentary majority on June 18 that boasts scores of lawmakers never before elected – unprecedented in France and central to his promise to clean up the country’s politics. Ferrand, 54, a former Socialist who became one of Macron’s key early backers, will bring his experience and authority to the newcomers who were gathering for a two-day training seminar at the National Assembly.
“Richard Ferrand is the only one who can to the job,” a LREM deputy told Reuters. Ferrand, who headed the campaign that swept Emmanuel Macron to power in a vote last May 7, left the government in a Cabinet reshuffle this week. He was named minister for territorial planning in May. He has denied any wrongdoing after a public prosecutor opened an investigation.