Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Five challenges for France's new president-elect Emmanuel Macron

"The Prime Minister said that she looked forward to working with the new president on a range of shared issues, with the United Kingdom and France's unique partnership providing a strong foundation for future co-operation".

The 39-year-old independent centrist - who will be the country's youngest ever President - won with an estimated 65.1% of the vote.

Unlike in the presidential election, where the traditional ruling parties were eliminated in the first round, they will once more be a force to be reckoned with in the lower house elections.

Speaking to thousands of supporters from the Louvre Museum's courtyard, Mr Macron said that Europe and the world are "watching us" and "waiting for us to defend the spirit of the Enlightenment, threatened in so many places".

The notion that a new movement under Le Pen could lead to political alliances and entice new voters poses a challenge to Macron, who said during his victory speech that the anger and despair of far-right voters must be acknowledged.

As of this morning, 99% of votes have been counted, with the French Interior Ministry having Macron on 66% and Le Pen on 34% - an ode to French polling if nothing else.

And while Le Pen's defeat was something of a thrashing, it was not as pronounced as the defeat of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who ran for the National Front in 2002 and gained less than 18% of the vote.

"I look very much forward to working with him!"

"Knowing all of this the new French President may well find that winning was the easy bit", said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

"Macron's election offers stability to Europe's single market, and strengthens the EU's position in the upcoming Brexit negotiations", Margaret Yang of CMC Markets said in a commentary. (Onwards!), barely a year ago.

It's nothing new. Violent protests, egg-throwing and heckling disrupted the campaigns of both the president-elect and his defeated far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

"Will the Macron-Le Pen divide - which is a national, existential identity divide, not the usual left-right split - continue into the legislative election?"

She clinched one alliance ahead of the runoff with the leader of a small conservative party, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan.

Hillary Clinton, who lost last year's election to Trump, tweeted, "Victory for Macron, for France, the European Union, & the world".

During the election, Macron's camp accused Russian Federation of trying to influence the French election by spreading "fake news" through state-controlled media.

After his victory, Mr Macron urged the French to embrace rather than reject globalisation and vowed to work with Germany to relaunch the European Union - a body that has been struggling to find its relevance after years of crisis and scepticism among many Europeans.

Macron has nearly nothing in common with Trump except one key fact: Like the NY real estate tycoon, Macron became president of his country on his first run for elective office.

Here are five things to know about French president-elect Emmanuel Macron.

Turnout was expected to slightly down on previous polls, as many voters found the choice between Mr. Macron's pro-business, socially liberal programme and Ms. Le Pen's hardline anti-EU, anti-immigration stance unpalatable.

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