Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Marine Le Pen's Niece Should Take Over FN Leadership - French Lawmaker

Marine Le Pen's Niece Should Take Over FN Leadership - French Lawmaker

Manuel Valls, 54, stunned his Socialist colleagues by saying that he wanted to stand in June's parliamentary elections as a candidate on Mr Macron's side.

It was the first time the men had appeared in public together since Macron resigned in August 2016 as Hollande's economy minister to run for president - a decision that was received coldly by the French leader at the time, according to French media. As part of his effort to convince voters that both he and his movement marked a break with the status quo, Macron previously promised that half of its candidates will be new to elected politics.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, told Macron: "I am delighted that the ideas you defended of a strong and progressive Europe, which protects all its citizens, will be those that you will carry into your presidency".

Emmanuel Macron's ascent to the French presidency caps a stunning rise for the political newcomer but he now faces another battle to form a parliamentary majority, with his rivals already plotting revenge in June's general election.

According to Le Monde, a quarter of registered voters did not show up to vote, making the turnout of 75 percent the lowest recorded in any final round of the presidential elections since 1969.

The transfer of power to Macron will take place Sunday, outgoing President Francois Hollande announced.

At 39, the pro-EU former investment banker will become France's youngest-ever president when he is inaugurated next weekend after crushing far-right leader Marine Le Pen in a run-off vote on Sunday. The ceremony marked decades of peace in Western Europe, something Macron made a cornerstone of his campaign against Le Pen's brand of nationalist populism.

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Sylvie Goulard, a French deputy to the European Parliament, said Macron would make Berlin, Germany, his first official visit, with perhaps a stop to see French troops stationed overseas as well.

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.

Macron will name his prime minister next week, but could be forced to amend his choice if the legislative elections don't go to plan. In interviews Monday, party officials said a new name would aim to broaden its appeal.

Le Pen says she will lead the opposition to Macron.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, said in a statement that while Macron's election is "extremely encouraging", his group is "concerned that a third of the French population voted for a unsafe political leader".

Macron's victory is a relief for Germany, the main defender of the European Union against rising anti-establishment sentiment on the right and left of the political spectrum.

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