Police clash with protestors in Paris

Emmanuel Macron has vowed to unite France after becoming the country’s first president in 20 years to win re-election.

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Addressing a rally at the foot of the Eiffel Tower following his victory over Marine Le Pen yesterday, Macron vowed to be “the president of all of us” and to respond “efficiently” to the “anger and disagreement” of voters who backed his rival.

“I know that a number of French people have voted for me today, not to support my ideas but to stop the ideas of the far-right,” he said.

Divided Republic

Macron picked up 58.54% of the vote in Sunday’s second-round run-off, comfortably beating Le Pen, on 41.46%. But his National Rally rival “nonetheless won more than 13 million votes in a historic high for her anti-immigration party”, wrote The Guardian’s Paris correspondent Angelique Chrisafis.

“Before the caveats,” said BBC’s correspondent Hugh Schofield, “it is only fair to acknowledge the scale of Macron’s achievement.” The election marks “the first time ever that a governing president of the Fifth Republic has been re-elected”.

And while former presidents “have retained the Elysée before”, Macron is the first in modern times to win a second term since Jacques Chirac was elected back into the top job in 2002. “Which when you consider France’s long-standing relationship with government – which is essentially to cheer ‘em in, then chuck ‘em out at the first opportunity – is no mean feat,” Schofield continued.

The result of yesterday’s vote there are “millions of French people of the middling type who feel that Macron has not been at all a bad president”. But Le Pen’s record vote tally also shows “people in France are now prepared to dally with the ‘extremes’”, added Schofield.

The victorious leader of the centrist Le Marche! (On the March!) party has called for unity, urging his supporters to be kind and respectful” to Le Pen voters amid the clear “division” in French society.

But despite that plea, the vote result triggered violence in cities across France. Police used tear gas to disperse gatherings in Paris, Lyon and Rennes after “several hundred demonstrators from ultra-left groups took to the streets” to protest “Macron’s re-election and Le Pen’s score”, said The …read more

Source:: The Week – All news


Can Emmanuel Macron unite a divided France?

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