Emmanuel Macron defeated his rival Marine Le Pen in the Presidential election run-off on Sunday. Just minutes after the polls were closed, vote projection put Macron as the winner with 65 percent of the vote.
Votes are still being counted, but it is clear that Macron has scored a decisive victory over Le Pen. The independent candidate has won 66 percent of the vote, while Le Pen won only 33 percent.
The 39 year-old Macron will be the youngest President in French history and France’s youngest head of state since Napoleon.
Speaking in front of his jubilant supporters, Macron said that: “A new page of our long history is turned.”
“I salute my adversary Ms Le Pen, I know why people chose to vote for an extreme party. I know the doubt, the fear they expressed. And it is my responsibility to take on those concerns and guarantee our unity and responsibility for our country. From tomorrow we will modernize politics, recognize pluralism, revitalise democracy. This will be my first mission, respecting everyone”, Macron said in his victory speech.
Marine Le Pen conceded election to Macron and congratulated him his victory, but also announced that Front National will be reformed. She was quoted as saying that the party would change its name after her election defeat to Macron.
“The National Front … must deeply renew itself in order to rise to the historic opportunity and meet the French people’s expectations. I will propose to start this deep transformation of our movement in order to make a new political force.”
Soon after it became clear that Macron was elected President, he received congratulation from several European leaders. The EU Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, EU Council President Donald Tusk and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all congratulated Macron on his election victory.
Merkel’s spokesman said that the German Chancellor has called Macron to congratulate him and that the two had a ‘warm’ phone call.
U.S. President Donald Trump also congratulated Macron and said he is looking forward to working with the newly elected French President.
Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2017
Emmanuel Macron is a former banker who served as a Minister for the Economy in the government of Francois Hollande. He is the leader of the ‘En Marche’ movement, but has no significant political experience.
Another important election in France will be held in June, and will decide the composition of country’s parliament.