The Recent French Election
Preventing future terrorist attacks was apparently not on the minds of the French people as they went to the polls and voted for Emmanuel Macron as the country’s next president. Macron had run on a pro-Europe, pro-EU platform, but it was his opponent who ran on the need for stricter vetting of refugees.
At 39, Macron is the youngest person to hold the position since Napoleon.
The French presidential election occurs in two phases and Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen were the top two finalists who survived the first round two weeks before and sought political victory in a second round that happened two weeks later. Election result projects in France gave Macron two-thirds of the vote.
Instead of leading another country to exit the European Union, Macron embraces the EU and campaigned on his commitment to the union.
Macron’s competitor’s campaign for the presidency never had a chance, since media around the world did not print her name without amending it with the term “far-right.” The image of an extremist, instead of a patriot or nationalist dealt the decisive blow that ended Marine Le Pen’s chances for victory.
Macron was characterized throughout the campaign by all media sources as a “pro-EU centrist.” The French have more of an appetite for remaining in the EU than their neighbors in the UK. Macron has made clear that he won’t make the UK’s exit from the EU an easy one.
Background and Future
Macron has been in government and in the private sector. He has worked as the Deputy Secretary General and Economy Minister for former French president Francois Hollande. Macron has held other governmental posts. He spent four years with Rothschild Bank, which has allowed the media to cast him as an “outsider.” He ran as the candidate for the En Marche! party.
As an insider, Macron has pledge to keep the status quo and keep France in the EU.
The French presidential campaign had the lowest turnout since 1969 at 74 percent. More than 12 million registered voters abstained. There was little or no “cross-over” vote as the Macron campaign had hoped.
Now, Macron has to install enough of his supporters in the French parliament election. His party is hoping to achieve a majority in France’s 577-seat National Assembly. This would allow him to push through legislation with little resistance. Macron’s agenda includes plans to make domestic changes to France’s entitlement and unemployment insurance programs. This would include government pensions.
The polling numbers indicate that the new president’s party would get 31 percent of votes with Le Pen’s party in second place. The new president comes into office with some controversy. Although the French newspapers are mostly mute on the issue.
Macron’s 64-year old wife is his former teacher. They met in 1992 when Macon was 15-years old. She was his literature teacher and a married mother of three at the time. Rumors that have sprung up from these facts were not enough to sidetrack his campaign though.