France's Le Pen pledges to overhaul party after presidential election defeat

Elias Hubbard
May 8, 2017

If the new French president fails to deliver on his promises by the next election in 2022, Le Pen or another anti-EU leader may return stronger than ever.

Pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French presidential election has brought hope to France, Europe and the world that openness and tolerance can defeat extremism, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said today.

He saysGermany had in the past "too often behaved like the teacher toward France" and suggested relaxing European Union rules on state spending to allow France to boost economic growth. Others said they were happy the couple - who met when he was a student and she was his teacher - appeared in such an apparently happy relationship.

Police said nine people remained in detention early Monday, primarily over vandalism charges. And the majority of French people did just that: Early numbers indicate an approximate margin for Macron of 65 percent to Le Pen's 35 percent.

"If even the man who should have been her prime minister says he won't be part of it, the question is, whatever the name of the party, who will be there and what its policies will be?" said Jean-Yves Camus, a researcher who specialises in the far-right.

It was expected that Marine Le Pen, who promised immigration control similar to Trump and France pulling out of the European Union a la Brexit, could get a similar mandate from the French. The far-right leader looked instead to the next battle: parliamentary elections next month. Nevertheless, Macron managed to get nearly two out of every three votes cast in the run-off, comfortably above the margin of half the votes any candidate needs to win.

She has worked for years to soften the xenophobic associations that clung to the National Front under her father, going so far as to expel him from the party he founded.

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron gestures during a victory celebration outside the Louvre museum in Paris, May 7, 2017.

Macron had criticized Poland's political direction and said he would seek sanctions against Warsaw for rule-of-law violations.

Having prevailed over 48-year-old Le Pen, Macron will be sworn in as soon as this week as the head of mainland Europe's second-largest economy and its leading military power, as well as one of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

Macron will become the eighth president of France's Fifth Republic when he moves into the Elysee Palace after his inauguration next weekend.

"However with political risks subsiding the path is clear for the rally to continue once we get this repositioning out of the way".

The Italian premier Paolo Gentiloni also tweeted, "Hurrah Macron President!"

Macron has won 66.06% of the vote with 99.99% of registered votes counted, France's interior ministry said.

The outgoing French president, Francois Hollande, who is the record holder of the all-time presidential lowest approval rating in France of 4 percent, has "warmly congratulated" Macron on his victory.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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