Macron names France's new prime minster

Edouard Philippe is the mayor of Le Havre

Macron names France's new prime minster

Edouard Philippe attending Positive Economy Forum opening by Positive Planet in September 2016 in Le Havre, France | Image: Domine Jerome/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

French President Emmanuel Macron has selected Republican Edouard Philippe as the country's new prime minister.

Mr Philippe (46) is the mayor of Le Havre and a close associate of Alain Juppe, a prominent conservative who was touted to replace Francois Fillon as the Republicans' presidential candidate.

Analysts say his appointment could convince other Republicans to support Mr Macron, who is looking to secure a working majority in crucial parliamentary elections next month.

One of Mr Macron's aides welcomed the appointment as "a good move", telling AFP it would help the president "break the right".

Meanwhile, Mr Juppe described the new prime minister as "a man of great talent" with "all the qualities to handle the difficult job".

Mr Philippe served as Mr Juppe's campaign spokesman during the Republicans party primary.

French President Emmanuel Macron waves to the crowd before his inauguration ceremony as French president, at the Elysee Palace in Paris | Image: Yoan Valat/AP/Press Association Images

When Mr Juppe was beaten, the 46-year-old switched his support to Francois Fillon but quit the campaign when prosecutors started investigating allegations that the presidential candidate gave family members taxpayer-funded "fake jobs".

A relatively unknown politician, Mr Philippe previously worked as a director of public affairs for French nuclear group Areva from 2007-2010.

Prior to that he worked as a lawyer for New York City-based international law firm Debevoise and Plimpton LLP.

The announcement comes a day after Emmanuel Macron was inaugurated as France's youngest ever president in a ceremony in Paris.

In his inauguration speech, the centrist leader vowed to fight terrorism and also listed "the excesses of capitalism in the world" and climate change among his future challenges.

The 39-year-old has appointed Alexis Kohler, who was his chief of staff when he was economy minister, as his secretary general.

Philippe Etienne, a former ambassador to Berlin, will act as his diplomatic adviser.

The remainder of Mr Macron's government is expected to be announced on Tuesday.