12 May 2017

Macron unveils party list

7:04 am on 12 May 2017

The party of French President-elect Emmanuel Macron has selected a diverse list of 428 candidates for parliamentary elections next month.

no caption

Photo: AFP

Only 24 of those chosen are outgoing MPs from the current parliament.

Some 52 percent come from civil society and exactly half are women, the secretary-general of La République En Marche (Republic on the Move) said.

Richard Ferrand said the choices marked "the definitive return of citizens to the heart of our political life".

Mr Macron still needs to select more than 100 candidates for the 577-seat parliament and the party said its door is open to politicians from other parties to join.

The movement received more than 19,000 applications, Mr Ferrand said at a news conference, with 1700 telephone interviews conducted with candidates.

The average age of the list is 46 "compared to 60 years for the average of outgoing MPs", he said.

The youngest candidate is 24 years old, while the oldest is 72. Around 10 candidates are unemployed, double that are retired and a handful are students.

All of the outgoing MPs chosen to run come from the Socialist Party of departing President François Hollande.

Mr Ferrand confirmed that Mr Macron's ex-cabinet colleague Manuel Valls - the former prime minister who has now burned his boats with his Socialists - had not been selected.

He said that he did "not meet the criteria" because he had already served three parliamentary terms.

But the party will not be running a candidate against him in his constituency in Essonne, south of Paris.

France had been waiting to see if the party list would live up to Mr Macron's pledge to clean up France's public life.

French media are already reporting errors on the list - including one candidate with a criminal record (the party said no-one with a criminal record would be eligible).

Several people on the list have also denied they are candidates.

How are the candidates chosen?

Nearly 20,000 people applied and a few thousand only added their names in the last few days following the election.

The Macron team set out five conditions:

  • Renewal for France (half will come from outside politics)
  • Gender equality (half will be women)
  • Clean criminal record - as part of commitment to clean up politics
  • Cross-section of political views - so there may be defectors from other parties
  • Sign up to the Macron reform programme as well as joining the party itself

While candidates can be members of other parties, they cannot run for them (apart from centrist party MoDem)

- BBC

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs