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Macron appoints Labor Minister Elisabeth Borne as his prime minister

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron has chosen Elisabeth Borne to lead his new government, putting an end to weeks of speculation after the presidential election in April.

Borne was named the new prime minister of France following the resignation of Jean Castex, the Elysée said Monday.

Borne, whose appointment marks the second time France will be led by a female PM, will be in charge of steering through Macron’s controversial pension reform.

Macron reportedly wanted to promote a woman and said he wished to appoint “someone who was strong on social issues, environmental and production issues.”

Castex’s departure was long planned following Macron’s victory in April’s presidential election. “My journey in national politics is over,” he told Le Monde in a piece published last Saturday.

After appointing two conservative prime ministers during his first term, Macron has chosen Borne — a former head of the Paris metro network who has historically been close to the Socialist Party.

Borne, 61, has also served as transport minister and ecology minister under Macron and successfully shepherded through reforms related to vocational training and the French rail company SNCF.

“She has a very good track record and if we want to reach full employment, appointing a labor minister is a sensible move,” said a minister speaking on condition of anonymity, before the appointment.

Borne is also running as a candidate in the upcoming parliamentary election for Macron’s La République en Marche party. Her name had circulated shortly after Macron won the presidential election, which had raised speculation as to why the president took so long to appoint her.  

The Socialist Edith Cresson served as France’s first female prime minister in the early 1990s.

Elisa Braun contributed to reporting

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