“Many have voted for me to block the extreme right and that is an obligation for me”

Emmanuel Macron has appeared before his supporters in Paris after his victory in the second round of the elections against the far-right leader Marine Le Pen, a victory that will allow him to continue for five more years at the Elysée. “I know what I owe you,” said the French president to applause and the flags of France and the European Union.

Unlike 2017, on this occasion, the president has not chosen the Louvre, but the Champ de Mars, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, for his election night speech. He has arrived at the podium hand in hand with his wife, Brigitte Macron, surrounded by a group of young people and with the notes of the European anthem in the background.

Taking the floor between shouts of “Macron, president”, the French leader thanked for the support with a special mention to those who have chosen him to stop Le Pen’s extreme right, which has achieved its best historical results despite the defeat. “I know that many of our compatriots have voted for me today, not to support my ideas, but to block the extreme right. And I want to tell you here that I am aware that this vote is an obligation for the coming years.”

“I am the guardian of his sense of duty, of his attachment to the Republic and of respect for the differences that have been expressed in recent weeks,” said the candidate of La República en Marcha. He has also had words for the abstentionists: “His silence has been a refusal to choose to which we must also respond.”

“After five years of transformations, of happy moments and difficult moments, on this April 24, a majority of you have chosen to trust me to preside over our Republic for the next five years. I am no longer the candidate of one side, but the president of all,” Macron said. “I want to thank all the French men and women who trusted me in the first and second rounds to achieve a more independent France, a stronger Europe, through investments and profound changes.”

Macron has won the elections with a percentage of the vote of 58.8% compared to 41.2% that Le Pen has reaped, according to the projection prepared by Ipsos for various French media. This Sunday’s victory makes him the first French head of state to repeat a mandate in 20 years. Macron has performed slightly better than the polls predicted, but has lost more than seven points compared to 2017.

On the esplanade of the Champ de Mars, the feeling is more relief than celebration. Clemence explains to elDiario.es that she is “happy with the victory and the result” of Macron, although she is concerned about the rise of the extreme right. “It is difficult to understand that a part of the country votes for a reactionary project; I understand that there are problems, but Macron at least tries to improve things.

Philippe, who is carrying a large French flag, has also voted for the president. He believes that a part of the people who have chosen to introduce Macron’s ballot “have not voted for his support for his project.” “An effort will have to be made to unite the country and, above all, so that in five years there will be no far-right candidate in the second round.”

During his speech, Macron expressed his satisfaction with the fact that the voters, he said, had “chosen a humanist, ambitious project for the independence of our country and for our Europe. A project of republican, social and ecological values, a project based on work and creation, a project for the liberation of our academic, cultural and business forces”. “This new era will not be a continuation of the five-year period that is ending,” the president assured his followers.

“We will have to be generous and respectful because our country is full of doubts and divisions. No one will be left in the way. It will be up to us to work together to achieve this unity that will allow us to live more happily in France. The years to come will certainly not be quiet, but they will be historic, and we will know how to write them for our generation!” After the speech, Farrah El Dibany, Egyptian mezzo-soprano and member of the Paris National Opera Academy, performed La Marseillaise.

The elections close an atypical presidential campaign, in which the candidates have asked for the vote against their rival more than for themselves, with Ukraine as a backdrop and purchasing power as the main axis. Macron delayed his entry into the campaign as long as possible to avoid wear and tear. He has only been really involved in the last two weeks, between the two votes, multiplying events and visits throughout the country.

Five years ago, Macron promised to work so that the extreme right does not return to the second round of presidential elections. However, even before the first round, the president admitted his failure by “not having managed to contain” the growth of the extremes.

With a victory essentially built on the rejection of his opponent, Macron now risks appearing as the default winner of the election to prevent the far right from coming to power. This may weaken the next Executive when it comes to getting major reforms approved, such as pensions, a danger well identified by his environment, which had already indicated to several French media that the “great challenge” if he were re-elected is to win mistrust and reconcile a polarized country.

From the outset it remains to be seen whether, beyond this victory, La República en Marcha will be able to capitalize on this victory and obtain a parliamentary majority in the legislative elections on June 12 and 19. The next electoral appointment will offer the true recomposition of the political landscape, with the traditional parties decimated, the appearance of a new movement of the extreme right and the attempt of the France Insumisa party to group the forces of the left. The election of the prime minister, which must be announced in the coming weeks, will serve as an indication regarding the orientation of this new five-year Macron term.

Source: ElDiario.es – ElDiario.es by www.eldiario.es.

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