He promised to set new moral standards for French politics. No corruption, no favouritism, no misuse of public funds. It was a campaign entirely built on morality, and on finger-pointing at the corruption of others.
He won the Presidential elections largely thanks to the fact that his main competitor, François Fillon, was torpedoed by a press campaign concerning allegations of favoritism. At the same time, the press was conspicuously disinterested in similar allegations concerning Emmanuel Macron himself, as well as some of his main supporters.
And now that he is elected and safely installed in the Elysée, it turns out that within Macron’s in-group there is not less corruption and favouritism than anywhere else: four members of his cabinet had to step down after less than one month in office, on charges of misuse of public funds. Among them François Bayrou, the “king-maker”, who “turned away in disgust” from Fillon and instead supported Macron, and who as Minister of Justice was tasked with drafting a new Law on Moral Standards in Public Life.
Some Frenchmen are surely beginning to wonder what on Earth made them vote for the slick Tartuffe who is now their President.