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Emmanuel Macron is now France’s newest president, leading the polls with about 65.5 percent of the vote, and defeating Marine Le Pen today, Sunday, May 7th.
The hacked emails and leaked campaign documents on the eve of the election didn’t defeat the centrist’s victory. Macron, a 39-year-old former investment banker, is France’s youngest leader since Napoleon, representing a generational change in French Politics. His business-friendly vision of European integration contrasts with 48-year-old Le Pen’s far-right nationalism.
As Macron, who has never held elected office, moves into the Elysee Palace next weekend with his 64-year-old wife Brigitte, he will become the eighth president of France’s Fifth Republic. He hopes to overhaul France’s labor market, supports free trade and backs a stronger European Union.
Le Pen, whose candidacy was favored by Donald Trump, congratulated the new president after her defeat and told press members she wished Macron “success faced with huge challenges.” Under her candidacy, she had plans to drastically limit immigration and wanted to leave the euro currency zone and organize a referendum on leaving the European Union.
The voter turnout was 65.30 percent by 5 p.m., lower than the last three presidential elections, with 71.96 percent in 2012, 75.11 percent in 207 and 67.62 percent in 2002.
In smaller towns and rural areas where Le Pen’s support was evident, polls closed at 7 p.m. However, in larger cities, such as Paris and Marseille, where Macron was favored, polls closed at 8 p.m.
Early polling conducted by Ipsos, Ifop and BVA predicted a strong lead for Macron. Over the past four weeks, Macron’s polling average reigned in between 59 and 64 percent of the votes.
Donald Trump took to Twitter to demonstrate support to Macron’s ‘big win.’
“Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France,” he tweeted from his official Twitter account. “I look very much forward to working with him!”
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
The White House also released a statement congratulating the new president.
“We congratulate President-elect Macron and the People of France on their successful presidential election,” the statement said. “We look forward to working with the new President and continuing our close cooperation with the French government.”
Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons