Politics

Centrist Emmanuel Macron Wins French Presidential Election

Centrist Emmanuel Macron Wins French Presidential Election
Bernadine Racoma

Parisians held an impromptu street party in front of the Louvre Sunday night to celebrate the landslide victory of Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron, winner of the French Presidential Election. At age 39, the former investment banker and civil servant becomes the country’s youngest president. He received 66.06 percent of the votes, a huge edge over rival, Marine Le Pen in the second and final round of the French Presidential Election.

Landslide victory in French Presidential Election

It was indeed a great victory, not only for Macron but also for the French citizens, who have long wanted a government that is neither right nor left. Macron was a wild card in the French Presidential Election because he did not have an established political party backing him. He ran as an independent candidate for his party, En Marche!.

Voters supported him for his promise of reforming the pension and welfare systems of France and his pro-European Union stance. He also had unexpected support from the traditional left. They did not have any candidate for the second round of voting in the French Presidential Election, so they voted for Macron to crush the opposition. They feared a country led by Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, a political party that did not like the European Union and other foreigners.

The daunting task ahead

France is still divided and in a state of uncertainty. The country’s been targeted by foreign terrorist groups. Documented refugees say they can now breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that they can continue to enjoy the kindness and generosity of the French government, something they feared they would lose had Marine Le Pen won.

Macron said he knows that France is divided, which led to people voting for the safest bet. He added that he would work hard to reunite the country’s political parties. He wants the French citizens to have renewed trust and hope. He said he would work to protect and defend Europe.

In his victory speech late Sunday night, he said that the country has the will, energy and strength to work for a united and progressive France and they should not be daunted by fear.

Now he’ll be expected to make good on his campaign promises – trim off public spending by €60 billion, lower unemployment rate below 7 percent, reduce public sector jobs by 120,000, protect the self-employed, and ease labor laws.

President Macron must also win seats in Parliament. Currently his party does not have any. The legislative elections will be on June 11 and 18 this year. For effective governance, Pres. Macron will need a majority coalition so he must win over those who abstained from voting and those who are doubtful of the political vision he presented.

International reaction

Foreign leaders welcomed the election results of the French Presidential Election. Jean-Claude Juncker, the chief of the European Commission tweeted that he was happy that a European future is secure in France. U.S. Pres. Trump also posted a congratulatory tweet. Others who sent in their congratulations include Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, UK Prime, Minister Theresa May, and former President François Hollande.

Meanwhile, Marine Le Pen accepted her defeat and congratulated President-elect Emmanuel Macron. She said she’s going to transform the National Front Party. She will continue her goal of making her party electable and respectable, which includes changing its name. She and her party will be working toward the 2022 elections.

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