French President Emmanuel Macron comfortably won re-election to a second term on Sunday by defeating far-right rival Marine Le Pen. The presidential election witnessed a rise of radical parties and this shift in voting trends will put Macron in an awkward situation as parliamentary elections in June will define the constituents of Government. Le Pen wants hard-left Jean-Luc Melenchon as the prime minister.
As Macron was heading towards a comfortable win, his supporters started celebrating the victory at the Champ de Mars park. Amidst Russia-Ukraine conflict, Macron’s win gives an assurance of political stability in the European Union as France allies in Britain, Germany, Belgium and beyond hailed his victory over the nationalist Le Pen. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Macron on his re-election.
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“Congratulations to my friend Emmanuel Macron on being re-elected as the President of France! I look forward to continue working together to deepen the India-France Strategic Partnership,” PM Modi tweeted.
Congratulations to my friend @EmmanuelMacron on being re-elected as the President of France! I look forward to continue working together to deepen the India-France Strategic Partnership.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 25, 2022
Macron’s presidential election challenger conceded the defeat but managed to get a vote share of 41.4 percent. In his victory speech, Macron acknowledged that “numerous” voters elected him simply to deny the far-right leader Le Pen a shift of power. He pledged to address the dissatisfaction of the people and promised to address the sense of many French that their living standards are slipping.
“Many in this country voted for me not because they support my ideas but to keep out those of the far-right. I want to thank them and know I owe them a debt in the years to come,” Macron said in his victory speech. “This next era will not be the same as the last mandate, we will invent a new way of doing things together, for a better five years,” he added.
The next hurdle for re-elected Macron is only a few weeks ahead as Le Pen sounded defiant when she conceded the defeat and will work to put up a strong opposition bloc in the parliament. Which means Macron would face obstacles in implementing his pension reforms that would gradually raise the minimum age to 65 from 62. Pensions are always a hot issue in France as Macron had to face angry voters during his campaign trail.