LE PEN MAKES IT THROUGH TO THE SECOND ROUND OF THE FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
French voters have sent far-right populist Marine Le Pen and political novice Emmanuel Macron to the second round of France’s most consequential election in recent history. The early results have shaken the French political landscape as voters have snubbed the European country’s political establishment by endorsing the duo of Le Pen and Macron.
Emmanuel Macron, a former banker formed his own movement last year after abandoning traditional parties. Most of his campaign was centered on overhauling the rules that govern the economy of France and a pro-European Union platform. Addressing jubilant supporters in the country’s capital, Paris, Mr. Macron said, “The French people have decided to put me ahead of the first round of the vote. I am aware of the honor and the responsibility that rest on my shoulders.” The 39-year-old Macron had never before stood for elected office.
After the preliminary victory, Ms. Le Pen declared, “It is time to free French people from arrogant elites… I am the people’s candidate”
Both Macron and Le Pen will advance to a May 7 runoff after the French Interior Ministry declared that Macron had 23.3 percent of the vote and Le Pen had 22.7 percent despite only counting 76 percent of votes. Le Pen’s passage into the second round is viewed globally as another victory for a populist movement after recent wins in the British so-called “Brexit” referendum and the emergence of Donald J. Trump as the president of the United States
Several top French politicians, including Fillon, have given Emmanuel Macron their support. The French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve also urged the French populace to vote for Macron in the second round.
The French polls were held amidst strong security presence in the more than 60,000 polling stations.
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