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Emmanuel Macron Edges Out Putin’s Puppet Le Pen in French Elections

Emmanuel Macron Edges Out Putin’s Puppet Le Pen in French Elections

Emmanuel Macron was re-elected on Sunday after a second and final round of voting, becoming the first sitting French President to be re-elected in over 20 years after besting an opponent with ties to Vladimir Putin. Macron’s reelection also dealt a setback to the populist movements that have upended politics across the Western world, from Brexit to the successes of Viktor Orban in Hungary and Donald Trump in the United States.

The incumbent Macron secured an impressive 58.2% of the vote, soundly defeating the nationalist-populist Marine Le Pen, who scored 41.8%, according to initial estimates released by Ipsos, a polling group, as voting closed. Macron also now becomes the only French President under the Fifth Republic to have been returned to office by direct universal voting while holding a parliamentary majority.

 

It was a rematch of the 2017 presidential election, with Le Pen, who has attacked the European Union and NATO and expressed support for Russia, conceding shortly after the announced projection. She noted that she improved her performance from five years ago, when Macron defeated her with 66% of the vote, and said she will now concentrate on legislative elections for her party. In his victory speech, Macron acknowledged that French voters had expressed “anger” and he must now “respond effectively.”

 

“When one puts back together your project brick by brick, it’s a project that’s about getting out of the EU, even if it doesn’t explicitly say so,” Macron told Le Pen in their last debate.

“I am no longer the candidate of one side, but instead the President for all,” Macron told cheering supporters who gathered near the Eiffel Tower.

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