So the big news has come from France that Emmanuel Macron emerged out as the new head of the country. He is the youngest president of France ever. The Centrist candidate beats out far-right rival Marine Le Pen, just one year after establishing En Marche! movement. The centrist emphatic victory, which also smashed the dominance of France’s mainstream parties, will bring huge relief to the European allies who feared another populist upheaval like the Donald Trump’s election as the US president.
Emmanuel Macron is a 39-year-old former investment banker, who served as the economy minister for two years. But has never previously held elected office. He will now become France’s youngest leader since Napoleon with a promise to transcend outdated left-right divisions.
Three projections, issued within minutes of polling stations closing at 8pm (1800 GMT), showed Macron beating Le Pen by about 65% to 35% margin- a gap wider than the 20 or so percentage points that pre-election survey had pointed to.
“A new page in our long history has turned tonight,” said youngest president of France in a brief address to the press. “I want it to be that of the rediscovery of hope and trust”, he added.
“I will fight with all my strength against the divisions that are undermining us,” – Youngest President Of France. Adding that he has seen the “Anger, anxiety and doubts” of many voters.
The vicious election campaign exposed deep economic and social divisions in France, as well as tensions provoked by identity and immigration. The results revealed Macron was favored among wealthier, better-educated citizens in cities. While Le Pen drew support in the countryside as well as poverty-hit areas in the south and rustbelt northeast of France.
Unknown three years ago, Macron is now poised to become one of Europe’s most powerful leaders. Bringing with him a hugely ambitious agenda of political and economic reform for France and the European Union. His En Marche movement – “neither of the left, nor right”, has vowed to field candidates in all 577 constituencies. With half of them women and half of them newcomers to politics.
“He’s a symbol of hope,” – Jean-Luc Songtia, 36. “It’s like Obama eight years ago. It’s youth, it’s hope.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said it was a “Victory for a strong and united Europe”. While EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said French voters had chosen a “European future”.
“France is sending an incredible message of hope to the world. Anyone who bet on this has probably made a fortune.” – Veteran centrist Francois Bayrou
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