Why Élysée's bid to portray new French premier as leftwing is all smoke and mirrors

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As far as his party and some commentators are concerned, Emmanuel Macron sent a “signal to the Left” this week by appointing Élisabeth Borne as France's new prime minister. It is a sleight of hand that would be laughable if it did not also highlight how the head of state is continuing his attempts to deconstruct the French political arena, argues Mediapart political reporter Ellen Salvi in this opinion article.

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According to certain political commentators, the choice of Élisabeth Borne as the new prime minister of France is yet further proof of Emmanuel Macron's political genius. They claim the decision to appoint her will undermine the newly-formed left-wing alliance which is contesting the forthcoming Parliamentary elections in June. For they depict the new premier, who worked in the offices of three socialist ministers – prime minister Lionel Jospin, education minister Jack Lang and environment minister Ségolène Royal – as very much a “woman of the Left”.