39-year-old Emmanuel Macron, was on Sunday elected President of France, defeating a Far Right Nationalist, Marine Le Pen, who vowed to ensure the country exited European Union.
Mr. Macron’s victory has shattered the dominance of France’s major political parties, and brought relief to the country’s allies in Europe, who had feared another vote to exit the EU.
Projections issued just as the polling stations were closing showed Mr. Macron beating Mrs. Le Pen by around 65 percent to 35 – a gap wider than pre-election surveys indicated.
The win shows a record performance by Macron’s National Front, whose anti-immigrant policies until recently made it a pariah in French politics, and underlined the scale of the divisions that Macron must now try to heal, a Reuter’s reporter stated.
According to Le Pen’s high-spending, anti-globalization ‘France-first’ policies may have unnerved financial markets but they appealed to many poorer members of society against a background of high unemployment, social tensions and security concerns.
Mr. Macron, a former investment banker, who served for two years as economy minister but without holding an office, will become France’s youngest leader since Napoleon with a promise to transcend outdated left-right divisions.
Despite having served briefly as economy minister in President Francois Hollande’s deeply unpopular Socialist government, Mr. Macron succeeded in portraying himself as the man to recast a political landscape moulded by the left-right divisions of the last century.
Meanwhile, here are how world leaders reacted to Mr. Macron’s election victory –
United States – “Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him!” President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter.
– Germany – “Congratulations, @EmmanuelMacron. Your victory is a victory for a strong and united Europe and for French-German friendship,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman.
– Britain – “The Prime Minister warmly congratulates President-elect Macron on his election success. France is one of our closest allies and we look forward to working with the new President on a wide range of shared priorities,” said a Downing Street spokesman.
– European Union – “Happy that the French chose a European future,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wrote on Twitter.
EU Council President, Donald Tusk also offered his congratulations, saying the French had chosen “liberty, equality and fraternity” and “said no to the tyranny of fake news.”
– Spain – “Congratulations to @EmmanuelMacron, new president of #France. Let us work in France and Spain for a stable, prosperous and more integrated Europe,” Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in a tweet.
– Denmark – “Congratulations @Emmanuel Macron! We can achieve more together than on our own. Looking forward to our cooperation,” Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen tweeted.
– Sweden – “This is a victory for the French people and for European cooperation. New opportunities will now open up for the proactive agenda needed to strengthen the EU, including more jobs and fair working conditions, a stronger climate policy and a functioning asylum system in which everyone takes responsibility,” said Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.
– Brazil – “I congratulate @EmmanuelMacron on his victory in the French presidential election. Brazil and France will continue to work together for democracy, human rights, development, integration and peace,” tweeted President Michel Temer.
– Others – “Congratulations to President-elect @EmmanuelMacron and the French people,” former US President Bill Clinton wrote on Twitter.
“The French people refused the politics of hate and voted to uphold our shared values of liberte, egalite, and fraternite,” New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio tweeted.