France's Macron re-elected, defeats far-right leader: ‘President for all’

  • French elections: This is the first time in two decades that France has chosen a president for a second straight term. 
French President Emmanuel Macron celebrates with supporters in front of the Eiffel Tower Paris, France, Sunday, April 24, 2022. (AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron celebrates with supporters in front of the Eiffel Tower Paris, France, Sunday, April 24, 2022. (AP)
Published on Apr 25, 2022 06:08 AM IST
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By | Edited by Swati Bhasin

France has picked Emmanuel Macron for five more years as the country's president in a historic win, making it the first time that a governing leader of the Fifth Republic, which has been the political system since 1958, has been re-elected. The presidential election results are being viewed as a relief for the allies at a time when Europe is witnessing one of its worst wars in decades. Simply put, it signifies that the country won't shift its course while the European Union and the NATO have been imposing measures to punish Russia for the Ukraine aggression. In the backdrop of the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, Macron told a cheering crowd of supporters: “No one will be left by the side of the road."

Here are ten points on the France presidential elections.

1. Macron, 44, managed an easy win over far-right leader Marine Le Pen. He took 58.55 per cent of Sunday's vote over his contender's 41.5 per cent.

2. "I am so proud to serve you again," Macron said in his victory speech. "To those who voted for me, not to support my ideas but to block those of the extreme right, your vote obliges me. This evening, I am no longer the candidate of one camp, but the President of all.”

3. His win - although not a very huge surprise to some - also brings a likely relief to the investors who were worried over a Marie Le Pen victory triggering disruptions, reports said. Macron has pledged to work for EU (European Union) integration.

4. Le Pen - whose past admiration for Russia's Vladimir Putin has been highlighted by her rival - admitted defeat but declared: "I will never abandon France". She has pledged to keep up the fight in June parliamentary elections, news agency Reuters reported.

5."Tonight's result is in itself a remarkable victory (for us). Emmanuel Macron will do nothing to repair the fractures that divide our country and make our compatriots suffer. I fear that the five-year term that is about to begin will not break with the brutal methods of the previous one. In order to avoid the monopolisation of power by a few, more than ever I will pursue my commitment to France and the French people with the energy, perseverance and affection that you know me for," she was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters as votes were being counted.

6. Macron's first term saw many disruptions, including street protests, rising prices among others. With his focus on pro-business reforms to continue, demonstrations may be back on the streets. “There will be continuity in government policy because the president has been reelected. But we have also heard the French people's message,” Health Minister Olivier Veran said.

7. "Congratulations to @EmmanuelMacron on his re-election. France is our oldest ally and a key partner in addressing global challenges. I look forward to our continued close cooperation — including on supporting Ukraine, defending democracy, and countering climate change," US president Joe Biden wrote on Twitter.

8. Some of the challenges Macron faces in the new term are surging energy prices, overhaul of social policies and improving the country's overall economy, according to a Reuters report.

9. European leaders tweeted out congratulatory messages. "In this turbulent period, we need a solid Europe and a France totally committed to a more sovereign and more strategic European Union," tweeted European Council President Charles Michel.

10 Others who sent out messages were leaders of Sweden, Romania, Lithuania, Finland, the Netherlands and Greece, as well as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

(With inputs from AP, AFP, Reuters)

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Monday, June 27, 2022