Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Emmanuel Macron Triumphs But Focus Turns To Challenges Ahead

Emmanuel Macron Triumphs But Focus Turns To Challenges Ahead

What does China think of Macron's French election victory?

After warmly welcoming Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump appeared to confirm that it is "chemistry" between world leaders, more than ideology, that counts for him.

"France is America's close ally & good friend", tweeted Senator Marco Rubio, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination past year against Trump. "Macron: Not even started, already hated", it read.

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. The worst-case scenario for him would be a strong parliamentary majority for his opponents, dictating his choice of prime minister and limiting his presidency.

The French are anxious about the cultural, economic and religious impact of immigration and fear France's ability to compete against giants like China and Google. Nor, given that 25 per cent of the electorate abstained from voting and a record 11.5 per cent spoiled their ballots, can Macron's victory be called sweet.

That won't change until June, when elections for France's National Assembly will take place.

That won't be easy.

Mainstream parties on the left and right that were frozen out of Sunday's runoff in a first for modern France, also are regrouping, aiming to clip Macron's wings and impose their political agenda, via parliament, on his five-year term.

"The National Front. must deeply renew itself in order to rise to the historic opportunity and meet the French people's expectations", Ms Le Pen said in a brief address to supporters shortly after initial projections were released. The party does not now hold any seats in the French parliament.

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French authorities worked to keep the hack from influencing the outcome of the election, with the electoral commission warning the media on Saturday that it could be a criminal offence to republish the data.

The last time France had "cohabitation" was under President Jacques Chirac in 1997-2002, who described the setup as a state of "paralysis".

But many analysts believe the centrist movement is unlikely to win a majority and will be forced to govern in a coalition.

In 2014, Macron became minister of economy, industry and digital data under President Francois Hollande.

"Victory for Macron, for France, the European Union, & the world". She had campaigned to ditch the euro and hold a referendum on European Union membership.

An estimation by research firm Elabe for BFMTV show that Macron won the presidential race with 65.9 percent of votes, while Le Pen scored 34.1 percent.

More generally, the French election has been viewed through the prism of Brexit and the election of Trump, and Le Pen garnering the bulk of USA television coverage.

With more than 230 people killed in extremist attacks since 2015, Macron needs to prove he has a robust plan to protect the French from terrorism.

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