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Macron win 'powerful message' to far-right: top Europe rabbi

Macron elected French president estimates Macron elected French president estimates
Manuel Armenta | 12 May, 2017, 14:49

World leaders on Monday largely hailed the thumping victory of Emmanuel Macron in France's presidential election, with the European Union nations breathing a sigh of relief and describing it a triumph for a strong and united Europe. Jean Petaux, a professor at Sciences Po Bordeaux commented on the voter behavior stating that the majority of French people "chose not to let France to the nationalism defended by the Front National".

Mr Valls was one of several Socialist Party heavyweights who backed Mr Macron after members selected leftwinger Benoit Hamon as presidential candidate.

Icon books will publish The French Exception in September as a paperback original.

Mr Hamon, who gained popularity in recent years by leading a group of rebel Socialist lawmakers who opposed Mr Valls, was a distant fifth in the first round of the presidential election after garnering just over 6% of the votes, the Socialist Party's worst result since 1969.

The Republicans, whose scandal-hit candidate Francois Fillon crashed out in the first round of the presidential election, are hoping to come out tops in parliament and impose their choice of prime minister on Macron.

Despite not winning the French presidency with their candidate Marine Le Pen, the Front National may still make huge gains in the French national assembly where they now have only two deputies.

Mr Macron's newly renamed "Republique en Marche" (the Republic on the Move) movement reacted warily to the announcement.

Macron's victory at the head of a year-old movement that has presented itself as a home for progressives of all stripes has blown up France's long-standing left-right political divide.

An IFOP poll for Pèlerin/La Croix found 62 per cent of Catholics voted for the independent candidate, with 71 per cent of regular Mass-goers choosing him over right-wing populist Marine Le Pen.

Le Pen delivered a speech to her supporters shortly after the release of the projections, conceding her defeat in the election and saying that "France has chosen continuity". Traditionally, French voters have handed a parliamentary majority to the newly elected president in the general election.

There is scepticism about Macron's ability to win a majority with candidates from his En Marche movement - "neither of the left, nor right" - alone, meaning he might have to form a coalition.

Abstention could be high, and close to 60 percent of those who plan to vote for Macron say they will do so to stop Le Pen from being elected to lead the euro zone's second-largest economy rather than because they fully agree with the former banker-turned-politician.