Macron's upstart party chooses new leader, amid tensions

November 18, 2017 - 5:54 am

LYON, France (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist party has chosen a new leader, as the 19-month-old movement tries to overcome divisions and solidify its position after redrawing France's political landscape.

Christophe Castaner, a government spokesman and Macron loyalist, was chosen Saturday as the Republic on the Move! party's leader for the next three years. He ran unopposed in a vote at the first meeting of the party's governing council in Lyon.

Castaner, 51, is a former Socialist who was largely unknown before this year.

Party members hope Castaner's appointment will stem departures and give a new boost to the movement, which swept aside France's traditional political parties on the left and right and landed a big parliamentary majority in June. Its support has since waned but it remains the country's leading political force.

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