"It's like on TV": rookie Macron lawmaker makes debut in French parliament

A young tech entrepreneur on Tuesday became the first of an army of rookie lawmakers loyal to President Emmanuel Macron to enter parliament, receiving his beginner's toolkit as he walked through its majestic doors.

"It's like on TV, though it does look a little smaller," 43-year-old Sylvain Maillard, one of only four lawmakers elected in the first round, told reporters as he admired the marbled halls and clutched a slim leather briefcase.

Inside the case was a map of parliament, details on the location of the bar and the hairdresser's opening hours, a sash in the colors of the French tricolor and a copy of the country's constitution.

Maillard will not be the only newcomer to the 577-seat National Assembly. Macron's promise to renew French politics was founded on a commitment that half his candidates would be political novices, rare in a country where political careers typically span decades.

Pollsters project the year-old Republic On The Move party will win a crushing majority, perhaps three quarters of the lower house.

"It's going to take a little time getting used to," said Maillard, who has served as a municipal councilor in a Paris district since 2014. He added he hoped to lean on the experience of the party's seasoned veterans.

"They will be like older brothers, they will help us out," Maillard said of the few veterans expected among their ranks.

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