The popular former sports minister Rama Yade has left her new role as French Ambassador to UNESCO after just six months.

"/> The popular former sports minister Rama Yade has left her new role as French Ambassador to UNESCO after just six months.

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POLITICS

Rama Yade quits Ambassador post

The popular former sports minister Rama Yade has left her new role as French Ambassador to UNESCO after just six months.

Rama Yade quits Ambassador post
Marie-Lan Nguyen

Yade told AFP that she wanted her freedom back. “I have written to the President to say I would like to leave this role without damaging the interests of France.” She said she expects to meet the President on Friday or Saturday.

 

34-year old Yade is one of the most popular politicians in France. A poll in May published by Le Point-IPSOS gave her a 50% satisfaction rating, putting her in seventh place. The list was topped by Paris city mayor, Bertrand Delanoe, who scored 54%.

 

Yade has been a controversial figure since she joined the government. Once a favourite of President Sarkozy, she angered him in 2009 when she declined his request to run for a seat in the European Parliament. It’s believed that his anger led to her being moved from the Foreign Ministry to her job as sports minister. Once there, she had a difficult relationship with the senior minister, Roselyne Bachelot, particularly after the French football team performed disastrously in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. 

 

She took up her new role in December 2010 but has been publicly rebuked on several occasions for her behaviour. Government spokesman François Baroin told a press conference in April that she ought to show more reserve if she was going to continue in her ambassador role.

 

Yade said she now plans to focus her efforts on supporting Jean-Louis Borloo in the elections for 2012. Borloo left the government in late 2010 after failing to get the job of Prime Minister and is believed to be planning a bid for the Presidency.

 

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POLITICS

Macron rules out ‘national unity government’ for France

French president Emmanuel Macron has promised a new style of government based on 'listening and respect' - but did not announce an alliance with any other parties that would give him a majority in parliament.

Macron rules out 'national unity government' for France

Macron has been holding meetings with all other party leaders in an attempt to break the deadlock in parliament after his group lost its majority in Sunday’s elections, but in a live TV address to the nation he did not announce an alliance.

Instead he said that a new style of government was called for, saying: “The responsibility of the presidential majority is therefore to expand, either by building a coalition contract or by building majorities text by text.”

He rejected the idea of forming a “government of national unity” with all parties, saying that the present situation does not justify it.

READ ALSO Can Macron dissolve the French parliament?

But he said that opposition groups have signalled that: “They are available to advance on major topics” such as the cost of living, jobs, energy, climate and health.”

He said: “We must learn how to govern differently, by dialogue, respect, and listening

“This must mean making agreements, through dialogue, respect, and hard work. The country has made its desire for change clear.”  

Speaking for just eight minutes in the gardens of the Elysée, Macron added: “I cannot ignore the fractures and strong divisions that traverse our country.”   

He said urgent draft laws, especially to alleviate the impact of inflation and rising energy prices, would be submitted to parliament over the summer.

Macron called on the opposition parties to “clarify in all transparency, in the coming days, how far they are willing to go” in their support of such measures, which he said would not be financed by higher taxes.

He added that he himself had been re-elected in April on a platform of “ambitious reform” which he expected to carry out.

The parliamentary impasse should not lead to “stagnation”, Macron said, but to “dialogue and the willingness to listen to each other”.

Macron’s centrist group Ensemble (Together) ended Sunday’s elections as the largest group in parliament – but with 245 seats they are 44 short of an absolute majority.

The leftist coalition Nupes – an electoral alliance of the hard-left La France Insoumise, the centre-left Parti Socialiste, the Greens and the Communists – got a total of 131.

Meanwhile Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National got 89 seats and the centre-right Les Républicains got 61 seats. 

With deadlock in parliament, Macron has been holding meetings over the last two days with the party leaders in the attempt to create an alliance that will allow him to pass legislation over the next five years.

Reacting to Macron’s speech, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the leftist alliance which is the second largest group in parliament, said: “He was elected because most French people did not want the extreme right – the French people have rejected the president’s proposals.

“Nothing can change the choice of the French people.”

Macron’s position as president is not directly threatened by the lack of a majority, but it will mean that passing any legislation – which must be agreed by parliament – will be very difficult.

While negotiations between all parties will continue, Macron himself heads to Brussels on Thursday for an EU summit.

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