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Macron reshuffles cabinet after losing parliamentary majority


(Al Jazeera) French President Emmanuel Macron has reshuffled his government after his centrist ruling alliance failed to win a parliamentary majority last month.

The president on Monday made several key changes to high-profile positions and finally ceded to public pressure by removing Damien Abad, the solidarity and social cohesion minister, who is currently facing a rape investigation.

French Red Cross director Jean-Christophe Combe was nominated to replace Abad, who has firmly denied accusations linked to sexual misconduct made by several women against him through the press.

In a surprise move, chief economist of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Laurence Boone was named the new Europe minister in place of Clement Beaune, who had played a key role in negotiations with the United Kingdom over Brexit.

In another key change, Christophe Bechu, mayor of the Loire city of Angers and a key ally of former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, was named environment minister in lieu of Macron loyalist Amelie de Montchalin, who stepped aside after losing the battle for her seat in the parliamentary elections.

Olivier Veran, who was the face of the crisis throughout most of the coronavirus pandemic, was put in charge of presenting government policy after moving from health to a different cabinet role in May.

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