Macron beats Le Pen for the Presidency of France

May 8, 2017

Macron beats Le Pen for the Presidency of France

by Angelique Chrisafis

Congratulations to the People of  France for a successful and peaceful  Presidential Election. They have chosen to stay in the EU and rejected populism and far right politics of Marine Le Pen.  A strong,  and inclusive France is good for the European Union. A united prosperous Europe will also be a boon for the world.

Image result for Macron wins

Vive La France

Working with Germany and others including Asia, France can counter-balance Trumpism (America First) and Theresa May’s inward looking post BREXIT Britain,  and resist the tide of isolationism and economic protectionism.

In globalised interdependent world, we need cooperation, commitment to peace, stability and prosperity, and strategic partnerships to tackle economic nationalism, terrorism,  environmental  degradation, climate change, and poverty. –Din Merican

The pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidency in a decisive victory over the far-right Front National leader, Marine Le Pen, and vowed to unite a divided and fractured France.

Macron, 39, a former Economy Minister who ran as a “neither left nor right” independent promising to shake up the French political system, took 65.1% to Le Pen’s 34.9%, according to initial projections from early counts.

His victory was hailed by his supporters as holding back a tide of populism after the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory in the US election.

In a solemn first speech from his campaign headquarters, he vowed to “defend France and Europe”. He promised to “unite” a divided and fractured France that had led people to vote for “extremes”. He said that he would “fight with all my strength against the division that undermines and destroys us”.

He promised to “guarantee the unity of the nation” and “fight against all forms of inequality and discrimination”.

Despite the wide margin of the final result, Le Pen’s score nonetheless marked a historic high for the French far right. Even after a lacklustre campaign that ended with a calamitous performance in the final TV debate, she was projected to have taken almost 11 million votes, double that of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, when he reached the presidential run-off in 2002. The anti-immigration, anti-EU Front National’s supporters asserted that the party has a central place as an opposition force in France.

Turnout was the lowest in more than 40 years. Almost one-third of voters chose neither Macron nor Le Pen, with 12 million abstaining and 4.2 million spoiling ballot papers.

Macron, who has never held elected office and was unknown until three years ago, is France’s youngest president. Next Sunday he will take over a country under a state of emergency, still facing a major terrorism threat and struggling with a stagnant economy after decades of mass unemployment. France is also divided after an election campaign in which anti-establishment anger saw the traditional left and right ruling parties ejected from the race in the first round for the first time since the period after the second world war.

François Bayrou, an ex-minister and Macron’s centrist ally, said: “He is the youngest head of state on the planet [which] sends an incredible message of hope.” He added: “Macron is giving hope to people who had no hope. Hope that maybe we can do something, go beyond the [left-right] divide that no longer makes sense.”

Le Pen swiftly conceded defeat. She said she had won a “historic and massive” score which made her leader of “the biggest opposition force” in France and vowed to radically overhaul her Front National party. Her promise to “transform” the far-right movement left open the possibility that the party could be expanded and renamed in an attempt to boost its electoral chances. It was a major step in the political normalisation of her movement.

The outgoing Socialist President, François Hollande, who was once Macron’s mentor and had appointed him economy minister, said: “His large victory confirms that a very great majority of our citizens wanted to unite around the values of the Republic and show their attachment to the European Union and show France is open to the world.”

Macron’s supporters gathered, waving French flags, in the grand courtyard of the Louvre, the vast Paris palace-turned-museum.

Macron’s victory came not only because voters supported his policy platform for free market, pro-business reform, and his promises to energise the EU, coupled with a leftwing approach to social issues. Some of his voters came from other parties across the political spectrum and turned out not in complete support of his programme but to stop the Front National.

In a political landscape with a strong hard left and far right, Macron faces the challenge of trying to win a parliamentary majority for his fledgling political movement En Marche! (On the Move) in legislative elections next month. Without a majority he will not be able to carry out his manifesto promises.

After the Brexit vote and the election of Trump as US president, the race for the Élysée was the latest election to shake up establishment politics by kicking out the figures that stood for the status quo, ejecting the mainstream parties that have dominated French politics for 50 years and leaving the political novice Macron to do battle with the far right.

His victory comes after a bitter campaign with Le Pen in which she accused him of being part of an elite that did not understand ordinary people and he said Le Pen represented the “party of hatred” that wanted a “civil war” in France. The runoff pitted France’s most Europhile candidate against its most Europhobe.

In Brussels and Berlin there was relief that Le Pen’s anti-EU, anti-globalisation programme has been defeated.

A spokesman for the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said it was a “victory for a strong and united Europe” while the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said French voters had chosen a “European future”.

The office of the British prime minister, Theresa May, said she “warmly congratulates” Macron on his victory and “we look forward to working with the new president on a wide range of shared priorities”.

Trump, who will meet Macron on 25 May at the Nato summit in Brussels, tweeted: “Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next president of France. I look very much forward to working with him!” Earlier in the campaign he had declared Le Pen the strongest candidate.

Hours before the end of campaigning on Friday night, Macron’s campaign was hacked, which Paris prosecutors are investigating. Hundreds of thousands of emails and documents were dumped online and spread by WikiLeaks in what his campaign called an attempt at “democratic destabilisation”.

Macron, a former investment banker and senior civil servant who grew up in a bourgeois family in Amiens, served as deputy chief of staff to Hollande but was not at that time part of the Socialist party.

In 2014 Hollande appointed him Economy Minister but he left government in 2016, complaining that pro-business reforms were not going far enough. A year ago he formed En Marche!, promising to shake up France’s “vacuous” and discredited political class.

Macron campaigned on pledges to ease labour laws, improve education in deprived areas and extend protections for self-employed people.

The election race was full of extraordinary twists and turns. Hollande became the first president since the war to decide not to run again for office after slumping to record unpopularity with a satisfaction rating of 4%.

His troubled five-year term left France still struggling with a sluggish economy and a mood of disillusionment with the political class. The country is more divided than ever before. More than 230 people have been killed in terrorist attacks in little more than two years, the political class is questioning Islam’s place in French society and more than 3 million people are unemployed.

The right wing candidate, François Fillon, once seen as favourite, was badly damaged by a judicial investigation into a string of corruption allegations, including that he had paid his wife and children generous salaries from public funds for fake parliamentary assistant jobs.

The ruling Socialist party, under its candidate Benoît Hamon, saw its score plunge to 6%, while the hard-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon finished fourth.

The final round marks a redrawing of the political landscape, away from the old left-right divide towards a contest between a liberal, pro-globalisation stance and “close the borders” nationalism. Le Pen has styled the election as being between her party’s “patriots” and the “globalists” whom she says Macron represents.

13 thoughts on “Macron beats Le Pen for the Presidency of France

  1. Thank You, France. You helped create the United States assisting us during the Revolution. We returned the favor in WW1 and 2. Now you show us that hope can trump fear. Feel free to remind us of that as much as you want.

    • Oui, oui, oui !

      Liberte, egalite, fraternite

      Unite and drown out the voices of neo-fascism and neo-Nazism.
      To arms, citizens ! Form your (electoral) battalions !

    • “Liberte, egalite, fraternite” is a failed trinity. Current french government is the result of 5th revolution. Those Asians such as Pol Pot and Ho Chi Minh went to French to study and brought back communism only to kill millions of their own people.

      French in the last 200 year is cheese eating surrendering monkey who is not a model for any countries.

      American trinity – Liberty, In God/Truth We Trust, “Out of many, one” – has survived continuous government for 240 years. In that 240 years, the American trinity awakens the world to individual liberty, helps eradicate much of world poverty, and rescues cheese-eating surrendering-monkey twice. It is unknown who is going to rescue the cheese-eating-surrendering-monkey the third time. China?

      It is not a surprise that “Liberte, egalite, fraternite” is a failed trinity because equality cannot be defined overly broad without running afoul to the law of nature or the law of cause-and-effect. Defining equality to include equality of economic outcome, as what French trinity often does, will result in socialism when less brute force is used, and will result in communism when more brute force is used in the developing countries. Both socialism and communism fail their respective societies for the root cause of defining equality in the “wrong way”. That failure, by the way, has been predicted by Mr. Lee Kuan Yew 30 year ago and was documented in his memoir when he observed the welfare state of the United Kingdom when Singapore per capital income was much smaller than that of UK.

      US Constitution, in its opening statement, has defined a limited scope of equality, as given by their Creator, not by the government. Here is Trump latest affirmation of freedom of expression and freedom of religion in the spirit of US Constitution and the First Amendment – this is a very significant development if you appreciate the traditional American values:

      President Donald Trump Signs the Executive Order on Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty

  2. Leaving the EU is not populism…but realism…and the new French leader will betray his country in the long run if he thinks to be inside the EU will help prop up France…the Lady would have been a far better choice but that is not to take anything away from the new President’s wide margin of victory…

    France has made a mistake…

  3. Isa,
    In what way? There are plenty of bullshitters. That includes CLF and his alter ego, ktemoc. Why it would be better for France to be out of EU framework? Hey, I got a solution, perhaps, France under Le Pen will recolonise muslim countries especially Algeria.
    Holy cow! I believe the whiteys and muslims have the same disease. They always reminisce the good old days. China has learnt the hard way. Heard of what happen during the 19th century.

  4. France has serious problems and although i personally like Macron (i’d met him briefly in Milan, 2015), i hope he can bring some sanity to the decrepit French socialist experiment. He certainly is highly intelligent, motivated and charismatic.

    Being a Centrist Europhile and gerontophile (apologies to Brigitte) does not guarantee success when he has to toe the line between the radical forces and entrenched establishment within France. The economic doldrums of a inverted population pyramid, post-industrialization without adequate preparation, marginalized Muslim population (ghettos and terrorism) and the German stranglehold on EU economy may eventually stifle his creativity and innovative ideas. Heck, the even average age of the French is 2 years older than him!

    I certainly hope he will be able to weather the storm he has placed himself into. He must start forming his own political party (not mere platform) with solid, practical policies and safeguards.

    Btw loosebrain, go take a walkabout in the Simpson Desert. There you will find feral camels more to your liking.

  5. FREXIT…that is what France needs and urgently…at the moment it does not look like Macron will call for a referendum on the subject anytime soon..something the Lady had promised… coming on the heels of BREXIT, a leave vote in France would put the final nail in the EU coffin… and would save not only France but the entire continent.

    • Shiou you are a bigot who really does not know what the hell he is parroting which makes you a little bit more palatable than those who do know what they are parroting.

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