By Hajer M'tiri
French President Emmanuel Macron’s La Republique En Marche! (LREM) party, on Saturday chose Secretary of State for Parliamentary Relations and Government Spokesperson Christophe Castaner as its new leader.
Nearly 19 months since its establishment and six months in power, LREM held its first congress in the western city of Lyon.
"I am proud and very honored to have been elected General Delegate of #LaREM. I will put myself at the service of our movement, and will carry the voice of all our adherents," Castaner tweeted.
The only candidate for the position, Castaner, 51, was selected as the party leader for a three-year term by a college of elected officials, ministers, party executives and 200 chosen party members but not directly by LREM’s estimated 380,000 members.
The method has created some tension inside the party with a group of 100 members quitting over what they called "arrogant, undemocratic" methods.
The party also voted for its new executive board.
Macron launched the centrist LREM movement in April 2016. The "citizen" movement -- fielding a team of political novices -- secured a landslide majority in last June's parliamentary elections.
A slap to mainstream parties, it represented a dramatic shake up in the country's political landscape.