Emmanuel Macron has again been declared the winner of the French presidential election, defeating his rival Marine Le Pen, the right wing candidate. This decision is based on the vote announced on April 24, 2022. The two presidential candidates have very different views on domestic issues and France’s role in Europe, NATO, and the rest of the world.
Macron said in his victory speech, “Many people in this country voted for me not because they supported my ideas but to prevent the extreme right from coming to power. I want to thank them, and I am in debt to them for the next few years.”
Macron is projected to win 57.4% of the vote, with a total vote count of 97%. This number is based on interior ministry figures, as reported by Reuters.
Joe Biden, President of the United States, also congratulated Macron on Twitter. He said he was very enthusiastic about continuing Cooperation with Macron and France.
Leaders in Europe also sent their congratulations. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was no exception, who posted tweets in French. Zelensky said, “I am confident that we will advance to victory together. Towards a united and strong Europe.”
Accompanied by Protest
Winning the presidential election, Macron delivered his victory speech in Paris at the Eiffel Tower. He firmly asked his opponent’s supporters to temper their emotions.
It is related to the riots that were reported to have occurred on Sunday night (24/4). Demonstrators protest Macron’s victory. Even police sprayed tear gas on demonstrators in central Paris.
“We have to know why a lot of anger and disagreement has caused many of our compatriots to choose the extreme right,” he explained.
“It will be my responsibility and those around me,” Macron added.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called Macron’s victory good news for Europe. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the French vote sent a decisive vote of confidence in Europe today.
European Union President Charles Michael said the bloc could now rely on France for another five years. EU Commission Chair Ursula von der Leyen also said that they were pleased to continue their excellent cooperation with France.
In this election, the citizen abstention rate was quite large, namely 28%. This figure is the highest in the second round of the French presidential election since 1969. More than three million ballots were either damaged or empty.
Residents in most parts of France are on vacation on polling day. Still, the low turnout is a sign of apathy, complaining that no presidential candidates represent their vote. Most voters have avoided the second round.
Macron’s victory is confronted with pension problems linked to an increase in France’s retirement age. He said it was essential to the budget but would be challenged in parliament. He also has to focus on managing soaring inflation due to the war between Russia and Ukraine.
The cost of the living crisis faced by millions of French citizens became the number one issue of the presidential election campaign. Rivals accuse Macron of being very arrogant and acting as president of the rich.
Prime Minister Jean Castex told French radio that Macron’s re-election sends a strong message that France is going through a sizeable crisis. According to French political leaders, the next task is to reunite and fight in parliamentary elections in June.
Marine Le Pen, Anti Hijab and Putin Admirer
Marine Le Pen hails from the Rassemblement National (RN) party and has a right-wing political line. Her party is very national, anti-immigrant, anti-EU and anti-hijab. The proposal to ban the hijab in public places has become one of Marine Le Pen’s mainstays in the French 2022 presidential election campaign. It was expressed in a debate with President Macron.
Marine Le Pen said that she was not against Islam. She said she was against the principle of reducing equality between men and women. According to her, Islamist ideology is a way of thinking that can weaken gender equality, weaken secularism and weaken democracy.
Le Pen is also known to admire Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, greatly. According to her, Putin cannot be dictated by other countries. Today, Europe is condemning Putin for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In a 2014 interview, Le Pen said she respected leaders who defended their country’s interests, such as Putin and Germany’s chancellor at the time, Angela Markel.
Le Pen also said she did not believe that Russia was willing to invade Russia. When confronted by Macron for defending Putin, Le Pen said she was a free woman.
Seeing the actions of Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election is a positive signal that can strengthen France’s relations with the European Union. President Macron is very intent on continuing climate-first development in France.