‘I owe them a debt’ – Macron pledges to tackle ‘doubts and divisions’ …




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Emmanuel Macron pledged to heal divisions in France.He was re-elected with 58.54% of the vote.Despite that, the far right garnered a record percentage of the vote.

Emmanuel Macron pledged to address thorough divisions within France as results showed a clear presidential election win over Marine Le Pen, acknowledging that many had voted for him mainly to thwart his far-right challenger.

READ  France’s Macron beats Le Pen by comfortable margin to win second term, projections show

With all eyes turned toward a parliamentary election in June, he must now negotiate another tricky period of campaigning to try to ensure a legislature that will give him the majority he will need to implement his policies.

Final results of Sunday’s runoff showed Macron won 58.54% of the vote, a consequence line with late polling but a higher margin of victory than many earlier surveys had expected.

The consequence also gives the far right its biggest proportion of the presidential ballot on record.

Macron said in a late-night victory speech:

Many in this country voted for me not because they sustain my ideas but to keep out those of the far-right. I want to thank them and know I owe them a debt in the years to come.

“We will have to be benevolent and respectful because our country is riddled with so many doubts, so many divisions.”

While Macron’s margin of victory was comfortable, it was well below the 66.1% he scored against the same opponent in their first runoff in 2017, and already further from the 82% secured by conservative Jacques Chirac in 2002 when the far-right first made it to the runoff round.

Message

Hard-left presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon – who came a close third behind Le Pen in the first round – closest labelled the 12 June and 19 June parliamentary elections a “third round” of the presidential election.

It is a ballot in which opposition parties of all stripes will be hoping to win.

The conservative daily Le Figaro wrote in its main editorial on Monday: “In truth, the marble statue is a giant with feet of clay. Emmanuel Macron knows this well … he will not assistance from any grace period.”

The message across the Macron camp on Monday was that they would listen more, after a first mandate in which Macron himself initially called his leadership style “Jupiterian”, suggesting he would stay above the political fray.

“When a proposal that affects the lives of the French comes to the National Assembly, the deputies must go and discuss it with the French,” parliament leader Richard Ferrand, a close ally of Macron, told France Inter.

He additional:

Otherwise, there is a risk of a divide between parliamentarians and what the French feel.

Macron can likely expect the protests that have marred some of his first mandate to come back as he tries to push his business reforms, including plans to push the retirement age from 62 to 65 years.

“He’s not going to do another five years of the same mandate, that’s clear. We won’t let him do it,” said 63-year-old administrative worker Colette Sierra.

“If he does, I think people are ready to take to the streets if there isn’t the right kind of coalition government.”

But some voters were genuinely happy with Macron’s win.

“I’m very happy about the consequence because this president has already steered us by several challenges,” said 65-year-old lorry driver Lucien Sozinho. “He has shown courage, and there you have it, that’s the consequence.”

After a campaign dominated by cost-of-living issues, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Franceinfo that price caps on energy would stay until the end of the year, to ease the surge in energy prices fuelled by the Ukraine war.

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