How Macron was re-elected
By Orowo Victoria Ojieh
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen has lost France’s presidential elections with incumbent Emmanuel Macron clinching a second term, garnering 58.2% votes, according to an estimate from the Ipsos polling institute. Le Pen got 41.8%. The result is narrower than their second-round clash in 2017, when the same two candidates met in the run-off and Macron polled over 66 percent of the vote.
Macron’s victory prompted a wave of relief in Europe that the far-right had been prevented from taking power. Europe fears a Le Pen presidency would leave the continent rudderless following Brexit. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called Macron’s victory “great news for all of Europe”.
EU president Charles Michel said the bloc can now “count on France for five more years” while commission chief Ursula von der Leyen rapidly congratulated him saying she was “delighted to be able to continue our excellent cooperation”.
But the president’s victory is clouded by the fact that his rival an anti-immigration, nationalist candidate who advocates banning the Islamic headscarf in public, has courted Russian President Vladimir Putin and wants to turn the European Union into an “alliance of European nations” won more votes than any far-right candidate in the history of the French Republic.
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In a combative speech to supporters in Paris where she accepted the result but showed no sign of quitting politics, Le Pen, 53, said she would “never abandon” the French and was already preparing for June legislative elections.
“The result represents a brilliant victory,” she said. The relatively comfortable margin of victory gives Macron some confidence as he heads into a second five-year mandate, but the election also represents the closest the far-right has ever come to winning power in France.
Macron is the first French president to be re-elected in 20years since Jacques Chirac in 2002 after his predecessors Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande left office after only one term. In a victory speech on the Champ de Mars in central Paris at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, Macron vowed to respond to the anger of voters who backed his far-right rival, saying his new term would not continue unchanged from the last five years, The Trumpet gathered.
“An answer must be found to the anger and disagreements that led many of our compatriots to vote for the extreme right. It will be my responsibility and that of those around me,” he told thousands of cheering supporters.
The 44-year-old also pledged a renewed method to govern France, adding that this “new era” would not be one of continuity with the last term which is now ending.