By Alex Moreno
On May 7, 2017 the French elected new president Emmanuel Macron over opposing president elect Marine Le Pen. Macron is the youngest president in France’s history, has never held an elected government position, describes himself as neither left nor right, and founded his own political party in 2016.
The presidential term in France is 5 years, and a president cannot serve more than two terms.
Macron was born in 1977 to a well-off family in the city of Amiens in Northern France. As a teenager Macron met Brigitte Trogneux, his professor in drama, and fell in love, despite her already being married and 24 years older, but they married in 2007.
Macron began his political career as a civil servant, and then left to be an investment banker at Rothschild & Cie, in 2012 Macron was deputy chief of staff to the socialist president of the time, Francois Hollande. In 2014 Macron started 2 years as Minister of Economy and in this time he wanted to deregulate and liberalize the economy.
Marine Le Pen was once the leader of her political party the National Front, a right wing nationalist political party that her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, founded in 1972 and lead until 2011. Le Pen’s father made it to the second round of the presidential voting in 2002. He also ran for president in 1974, 1988, 1995, and 2007.
Marine Le Pen placed third in the 2012 election with 17.9 percent of voters in the first round.
The French election system uses run-off voting, which is a two round voting system that ensures a president always obtains a majority of voters.
Macron founded his political party En Marche! translated to English being On the Move!
According to Macron, En Marche! is a progressive movement uniting both the political left and right, the party was founded April 6, 2016.
Angela Merkel is the spokesman for the Chancellor of Germany.
“The Election of Macron is a victory for a strong and united Europe,” Merkel said.
Upcoming in June, the parliamentary election is submitting 577 candidates for government positions. Macron will need a majority legislative vote to pass his bills.
Macron will take over a troubled France, still in a state of emergency, because of their recent terrorism, high unemployment, and a stagnant economy.
At the grand courtyard of the Louvre, Macron said he will defend France and Europe.
“I will do all I can during the next five years, so that no one ever has to vote for extremes,” Macron said.
Both candidates are from the non-popular political parties of France.
“I will fight the divisions that undermine France,” Macron said.
In the second stage of the election, with just Macron and Le Pen on the ballot, Macron had 66 percent of voters while Le Pen had 34 percent.
Turnout for voters was a record low in over 40 years of French voting. Nearly a third of voters chose neither Le Pen nor Macron, because 12 million voters were abstaining. 4.2 million voters submitted blank ballots to say they stand with neither president elect.
Le Pen only won 2 of France’s 107 departments, when awarding a department to the president elect by majority.
Nine out of ten voters in Paris voted for Macron in the second round of elections.
In the first round of elections on April 23, before the second round May 7, Macron had 23.8 percent of voters, while Le Pen had 21.5 percent.
Francois Hollande is the president just finishing his term and had appointed Macron as Minister of Economy.
“His large victory confirms that a very great majority of our citizens wanted to unite around the values of the Republic and show their attachment to the European Union and show France is open to the world,” Hollande said.
Macron campaigned for a free market, working with the European Union (EU), and had a by comparison to Le Pen left wing approach to issues. Macron had votes from across the political spectrum, especially in round two, with many voters casting a vote for him as a vote against the National Front party and Le Pen.
Francois Bayrou is an ex-minister of France and a supporter of Macron.
“Macron is giving hope to people who had no hope. Hope that maybe we can do something, go beyond the [left-right] divide that no longer makes sense,” Bayrou said.
Le Pen and Macron have spoken out about each other in the past, with Le Pen saying Macron does not understand the ordinary people of France because of his position as one of the elite. Macron said Le Pen represents a “party of hatred” and that she wants a “civil war” in France.
In the hours before the close of the final election polls, Macron’s campaign announced that they had been the target of a massive and coordinated hacking operation.
Donald Tusk is the president of the European Union.
“Congratulations to French people for choosing Liberty, Equality and Fraternity over tyranny of fake news,” Tusk said on Twitter.
About 14.5 gigabytes of emails, personal and business documents were posted online. The hackers mixed real and fake documents. The attacker’s identities and origins are still unknown.
On May 25 at the summit in Brussels, Trump will meet Macron. Trump endorsed Le Pen throughout the French election.
“Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next president of France. I look very much forward to working with him!” Trump said on twitter.
In this election, France has saved their crucial presence in the EU and endorsed a new political party. The world is watching France as they make their upcoming changes to their nation, their continent, and the world.