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sâmbătă, 28 mai 2022 - 17:23
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Macron defeats Le Pen and vows to unite divided France

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Emmanuel Macron has won five more years as France‘s president after a convincing victory over rival Marine Le Pen, who nevertheless secured the far right’s highest share of the vote yet, according to BBC News.

European leaders rushed to congratulate French President for winning a second term Sunday, after an election that presented two radically opposing visions of the EU. Macron won by 58.55% to 41.45%, a greater margin than expected.

The centrist leader told jubilant supporters at the foot of the Eiffel Tower that now the election was over he would be a “president for all”.

Macron is the first sitting president in 20 years to be re-elected.

Marine Le Pen won more than 13 million votes on Sunday, on a platform of tax cuts to tackle the high cost of living, a ban on wearing the Muslim headscarf in public and a referendum on immigration controls.

Despite her loss, Le Pen said her significant vote share still marked a victory.

“An answer must be found to the anger and disagreements that led many of our compatriots to vote for the extreme right,” Mr Macron said in his victory speech. “It will be my responsibility and that of those around me.”

More than one in three voters did not vote for either candidate. Turnout was just under 72%, the lowest in a presidential run-off since 1969, and more than three million people cast spoilt or blank votes. 

Macron’s victory was welcomed by relieved European leaders, who had feared a far-right candidate offering a series of anti-EU policies. 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was first to congratulate him, singling out their mutual challenge in responding to Russia’s war on Ukraine. US President Joe Biden also said he looked forward to „close co-operation” including on supporting Ukraine.

While Macron has played a key diplomatic role in the war, Marine Le Pen has struggled to shake off accusations of ties to the Kremlin. Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated him as a “true friend” and said he looked forward to a strong and united Europe.