Donald Trump says looks forward to working with France's Macron

Cornelia Mascio
Mag 19, 2017

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron celebrates on the stage at his victory rally near the Louvre in Paris.

"France has sent an incredible message to itself, to Europe and the world", said Macron ally Francois Bayrou, among Macron's possible choices for prime minister.

"Because I am a man of the left, because I remain a Socialist, I am not going to disown 30 years of my political life", Valls said.

That work begins right away.

Macron has promised to move beyond traditional left and right parties to create a new majority in the centre.

"I will do everything in the five years to come so there is no more reason to vote for the extremes", he said.

"It's a new way of working, it's a bit different to the right- and left-wing politics we normally have. Now we have the legislative elections and it will be a bit complicated to really change something". The former investment banker has little experience in governance, serving as economy minister for two years as his most senior role.

The government has also struggled to cope with immigration and integration, issues that drew throngs of supporters to Le Pen and her anti-migrant campaign.

Macron plans to tackle a decade of slow growth and rising unemployment by overhauling France's labor market, simplifying the tax and pension systems, paring back regulations and spending more on education, not least in deprived areas.

The last days of the campaign were marked by an insult-laden debate in which Ms. Le Pen proved shaky on facts, cementing Mr. Macron's advantage.

The win for the 39-year-old, pro-Europe Mr Macron ended the dominance of France's mainstream parties, but the result was also a warning, with Ms Le Pen's National Front winning 35 per cent of the vote - nearly double what her father Jean-Marie secured in 2002, a result which rocked France at the time, triggering a "Republican front" to counter his rise.

Now she wants a wider spectrum of voters, "those who choose France, defend its independence, its freedom, its prosperity, its security, its identity and its social model".

"Now we enter combat", said Didier Roxel, a National Front legislative candidate.

As of this morning, 99% of votes have been counted, with the French Interior Ministry having Macron on 66% and Le Pen on 34% - an ode to French polling if nothing else.

Macron has also said he wants to reinforce the EU's external borders and has called for a major increase in resources for the Frontex agency.

South Korea's Kospi index hit a record high ahead of a presidential election Tuesday, gaining 2.3 percent to 2,292.76.

Always a fighter defying the odds, the ambitious Le Pen set a new challenge for herself: "a profound reformation of our movement to constitute a new political force".

Macron's year-old movement - it does not even have the status of a party yet - has said it will field candidates in all 577 seats for the two-round parliamentary elections on June 11 and June 18. Ironically, it seems Le Pen has inadvertently united the country - against her. "His voice is not insignificant, but his candidacy will be treated as anyone else's". "It's the start", said Jean Messiha, who co-ordinated Le Pen's presidential project.

"Clearly, she didn't pass the test".

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