(Bloomberg) -- The leftist alliance opposed to President Emmanuel Macron’s economic agenda will chair the influential finance committee in the lower house of French parliament.
Eric Coquerel was chosen to head the panel in a secret ballot by its 59 members on Thursday, defeating candidates from the far-right and center-right.
The 63-year-old lawmaker has pledged to use the position to fight tax fraud. He was a member of the financial committee under the previous legislature, and won praise from its chair.
The committee can request access to tax and public spending documents that are normally off limits, and hamstring the legislature with inquiries. It reviews the proposed budget each year and issues opinions on the nominees for governor of the Bank of France, among other positions.
The left-wing alliance -- which includes greens, communists and socialists as well as Jean-Luc Melenchon’s radical left France Unbowed party -- agreed that Coquerel would be its joint candidate after jostling last week. The post typically goes to the opposition, and was previously held by a member of the center-right Republicans.
Coquerel’s election means that Macron followed tradition, and didn’t interfere in the selection process or try to push through another center-right candidate who might be more supportive of his policies.
Read more: Macron Faces First Test in Parliament After Losing Majority
On Wednesday, two far-right lawmakers were appointed vice presidents of the National Assembly, with the backing of the center right and Macron’s party. The move was met with bitterness from left-wing lawmakers who criticized the president for making deals with the far right.
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