100 members of Macron's centrist party plan to quit before big meeting

GERMAN PRESS AGENCY - DPA
PARIS
Published
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a visit to the Plaine Images industry hub in Tourcoing, northern France, on November 14, 2017, as part of his visit regarding city politics. (AFP Photo)
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a visit to the Plaine Images industry hub in Tourcoing, northern France, on November 14, 2017, as part of his visit regarding city politics. (AFP Photo)

Some 100 members of French President Emmanuel Macron's 18-month-old centrist party plan to renounce the group just before an important convention, public broadcaster Franceinfo reported Tuesday.

The members calling themselves the "100 Democrats" cited a lack of democracy in Macron's La Republique en Marche (The Republic on the Move, LREM) as their reason for the mass exit planned for Friday, one day before the party's first meeting is scheduled in Lyon.

Among other gripes, the members said no primary election for all party members was planned and votes for those members who don't hold office are handed out on a random basis, according to Franceinfo.

Franceinfo did not publish a list naming the 100 members, but it said the majority of them are rank-and-file members, community politicians and local party officials.

LREM estimates that it has more than 380,000 members.

French government spokesman Christophe Castaner, a former Socialist Party lawmaker, is expected to be voted in as leader of the party on Saturday by a council. He did not face an opponent for the position.

Marcon founded LREM in early 2016, selling it as a political movement that broke away from traditional party structures and did not orient itself to either the right or left. It's now up to the party to establish itself after an energetic campaign and success in the presidential and parliamentary elections.

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