The French Elections

Justin Vaïsse
Justin Vaïsse Former Brookings Expert, Director, Policy Planning Staff - French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs

May 7, 2012

Editor’s Note: Justin Vaisse discusses the shape that the newly-elected French President Francois Hollande’s government will take, in an interview on Charlie Rose.

Charlie Rose: Justin, who might be his [Francois Hollande’s] Foreign Minister? Not that you’re in France, but who are the people that are closest to him that we’ll expect to see? Will it be a team of rivals? Will it be something else?

Justin Vaisse: No, you know, the interesting thing about the election is that he doesn’t owe very much of his victory to the extreme left. Jean-Luc Melanchon only reached a disappointing 11.5 [percent of the vote], whereas he was expected to be higher, so he’s pretty much his own man.   He has said clearly that he would pick Socialists and that he would pick people close to him so that he could keep a sort of a tight team. And Jean-Marc Ayrault, the President of the French Socialist Assembly has been rumored to be the front runner for the Prime Minister job which will be announced only when Hollande is invested with power.  Laurent Fabius, the Prime Minister of Francois Mitterand is front runner for the Quay d’Orsay, but Pierre Moscovici, whose be his director of campaign is also slated for a major job.

And then remember that one of his promises is to get parity in the cabinet. So we’ll probably see people like Elisabeth Guigou and many other women have very important jobs.

CR: How about Segolene Royal?

JV: Ah, she probably won’t have a prominent job.

CR: But she did endorse him!

JV: She did. And one thing that she might get is to be the leader of the Socialist group at the National Assembly which means that she would get to be the President of the National Assembly, which is quite an important function. Apparently, that is a deal that is in the works.

Watch the full interview at>>