French President Emmanuel Macron wins second term defeating Le Pen
France President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday won the re-election for his second term by defeating his rival far-right leader, Marine Le Pen. Macron got 58.6% of the votes, while his rival, Pen, got 41.4% of the votes, the interior ministry's figures showed. The results reportedly prompted a wave of relief in Europe that the far-right had been kept out of power.
- Macron (44) is the first French leader to be re-elected in two decades since Jacques Chirac in 2002.
- However, this is also the first time that the far-right has ever come too close to taking power in France.
- The results are narrower than in 2017, when Macron had received 66% of the votes in a similar clash with Le Pen.
In his victory speech, Macron said he would be a "president for all," and the new term would not be a "continuation of my previous mandate." He vowed to respond to the anger of voters who backed his far-right rival. "An answer must be found to the anger and disagreements that led many of our compatriots to vote for the extreme right," Macron said.
In her speech to supporters in Paris, 53-year-old Le Pen accepted the verdict but showed no intentions to quit politics. She said she would "never abandon" the French and was already preparing for the June legislative elections. "This evening, we launch the great battle for the legislative elections," she said while urging the opponents of Macron to join with her National Rally (RN) party.
President Macron faces a number of challenges in his second term with the parliamentary elections in June. Winning a majority in the June elections is critical for Macron, who is hopeful of implementing his vision of more pro-business reform and tighter EU integration. Reportedly, pension reforms and raising the French retirement age will remain a priority.
The abstention rate was very high in France this time as millions did not cast their vote. The abstention rate was estimated at 28% by polling organizations. This is notably the highest abstention rate in any French presidential election second-round run-off since 1969.
Congratulations to my friend @EmmanuelMacron on being re-elected as the President of France! I look forward to continue working together to deepen the India-France Strategic Partnership.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 25, 2022