France's Macron lays groundwork for transition to presidency

20 May, 2017, 01:17 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Macron triumphs but focus turns to challenges ahead

The centrist's emphatic victory, which also smashed the dominance of France's mainstream parties, will bring huge relief to European allies who had feared another populist upheaval to follow Britain's vote to quit the EU and Donald Trump's election as USA president.

But he faces a tall order to secure the majority he needs to push through his ambitious agenda of labour, welfare and education reforms.

According to polls released Monday, En Marche will win between 24 and 26 percent of votes in those elections, with the conservative Republicans party on 22 percent and the National Front on 21-22 percent.

The statement from Macron's former boss - Macron was economy minister when Valls was premier - shows how the political map is being re-drawn in France in the wake of the 39-year-old's crushing victory over far-right candidate Marine Le Pen on Sunday. But Macron's team gave the idea a frosty reception. Emmanuel Macron believes in collective solidarity.

Hollande's term as president expires May 14 midnight.

Hamon went on to make a disastrous showing in the presidential election, being eliminated in the first round in fifth place.

France's two-round voting system makes it hard to project the final result, with parliamentary elections often yielding several three-way races where two parties ally against a third, typically the National Front.

"The French voted for continuity and I called Monsieur Macron Macron to congratulate him on his election", she said. He must pull together a majority of lawmakers for the party to run in the mid-June legislative election.

But Le Pen's high score showed that resistance to the party is fizzling out, meaning the FN can hope to significantly improve on its current tally of two seats in parliament.

"Macron is a giant with feet of clay, elected without real desire of enthusiasm", he said.

While Macron did promise to combat worldwide terrorism and climate change in his first public remarks as president-elect, his first big challenge lies at home.

But relations between Valls and Macron deteriorated badly during their time in government and the heavy-hitting Spanish-born ex-leader is disliked by many Republique en Marche insiders.

Split 50-50 between men and women, they'll have Macron's example for inspiration: Contesting his first election, he handily beat Le Pen with 66 percent of Sunday's vote and tore up France's political map. "It's my responsibility to hear them", he said.

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