Emmanuel Macron has been declared the winner in France’s presidential election after a tumultuous election season in the Western European country.
Macron won over 66 percent of the vote, essentially crushing nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen. Macron is considered to be moderate-left ideologically and ran under his own political party banner, En Marche!, founded in 2016.
Macron was a nontraditional candidate and sought to start his own progressive movement binding both the left and right together. Le Pen, whose distinctly far-right views garnered worldwide coverage, backed a platform of restricted immigration and supported both the UK’s Brexit campaign and U.S. President Donald Trump.
The French election was followed closely in the wake of Great Britain voting to exit the EU as well as the surprise election of Trump in America. Throughout the Western hemisphere there has been a rise in nationalist politics, and France came close to electing an individual that embraced a retreat from global cooperation, specifically to leave the EU and a return to French currency.
However, as enough polls reported results, many Parisians celebrated Macron’s victory, especially immigrants and Syrian refugees.
“We’re here to celebrate a victory against Le Pen,” said Anas Ammounah, one refugee. “We found that Le Pen would stop immigration and we were scared.”“We hope Macron will stop (Syrian President) Bashar, so we can return to our home,” he added.
In addition to stemming decreasing current immigration numbers, Le Pen had argued that supporting Bashar al Assad was the only way to find peace in Syria, a view not shared by the current French government and, like Trump, advocated cultivating a closer relationship with the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
President Trump expressed support for Le Pen in April saying she is “strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France.” However, after Macron officially became France’s president-elect, Trump tweeted out a congratulations to the victor.
At 39 years old, Macron is set to become France’s youngest president.
[BBC] [CNN] [CBS] [Politico] [Photo courtesy Getty Images]