Centrist Emmanuel Macron has been chosen as the next president of France after securing around 65 per cent of votes in his favour in the runoff presidential election, Reuters confirmed quoting official Interior Ministry figures. Macron registered a resounding victory over far-right rival Marine Le Pen in an election marked by divisive rhetoric. The vote was also considered as crucial for the fate of Europe. Reflecting on his win, Macron said, “A new page in our long history has turned tonight.” He added that he wanted the result to be that of rediscovery of hope and trust. The 39-year-old former investment banker also became the country’s youngest-ever president and faces a mounting challenge to revive the country’s economy and fractured country.
Here are the highlights
5. 54 am: Interior ministry said Macron elected French president with 66.06 per cent after counting virtually all votes, Reuters reports.
4.36 am: President-elect Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron, center right, sing the national anthem with supporters in front of the Pyramid at the Louvre Museum in front of the Pyramid at the Louvre Museum in Paris (AP photo)
4.35 am: Supporters of French President-elect Emmanuel Macron listen to him speak during a victory celebration outside the Louvre museum in Paris (AP photo)
4.20 am: Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau also joined the chorus in congratulating Macron on his presidential victory.
Congratulations @EmmanuelMacron! Let’s meet soon, and keep working to grow & strengthen the deep ties between Canada and France.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 7, 2017
3.31 am: “I will serve you on behalf of our motto: liberty, equality, fraternity,” Macron tweeted.
Je vous servirai au nom de notre devise : Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 7, 2017
3.28 am: With more than 44 million of France’s 47 million registered voters accounted for, official Interior Ministry figures confirmed that Macron has been elected president with 65.31 percent of valid votes cast so far, according to Reuters.
2.17 am: Europe and the world want us to defend enlightenment, freedom: Macron to his supporters.
2.12 am: Acknowledging the divisions in the country, Macron vowed to defend the republic and promised to eradicate the menace of terrorism.
2.09 am: “Tonight you won, Tonight France won,” said Macron while addressing his cheerful supporters after winning the French presidency.
2.07 am: Macron is currently addressing his supporters at his victory rally in Louvre in Paris.
1.36 am: His victory speech to supporters.
Ma responsabilité sera de rassembler. pic.twitter.com/dTFtUvxGLG
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 7, 2017
1.32 am: US Senator Bernie Sanders congratulated people of France for giving Macron a massive mandate.
1.28 am: As per latest update, Macron has secured 62. 3 per cent of votes as against Le Pen, who has polled 37.7 per cent votes in her favour.
1.07 am: Reflecting on the estimates, Jean-Marie Le Pen said his daughter Marine’s campaign had been undermined by its proposals to quit the euro and the European Union. “It is the problems of the euro, of Europe, of pensions which have dragged down the campaign of Madame Le Pen, I think,” Jean-Marie Le Pen was quoted as saying by Reuters.
1.01 am: In the wake of early projections, Paris’ main Mosque said that the election of centrist Emmanuel Macron as France’s next president was a sign of reconciliation between French religions. “It is a clear sign of hope to French Muslims that they can live in harmony and respect of French values”, La Grande Mosquée de Paris was quoted as saying by Reuters.
1.00 am: US president Donald Trump, who had earlier described Le Pen as the “the strongest” candidate in the run-up to the election, has tweeted his congratulations to Macron
12.55 am: People celebrating outside at the Louvre museum where Emmanuel Macron is planning to celebrate in Paris. Thousands of supporters of French centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron have let out a big cheer when national television called the presidential election in his favor based on poll projections. (AP Photo)
12.20 am: After early estimates showed him winning the presidential election by thumping margin, Macron was quoted as saying by Reuters, “A new page in our long history has turned tonight.” “I want it to be that of rediscovery of hope and trust,” he added.
12.05 am: Outgoing French President Francois Hollande said he has called centrist candidate Macron to congratulate him on his election victory.
12.04 am: “The National Front … must deeply renew itself in order to rise to the historic opportunity and meet the French people’s expectations,” Le Pen was quoted as saying by Reuters. She was addressing her supporters shortly after initial projections were released.
12.02 am: With early projections giving Emmanuel Macron a thumping victory, far-right rival Marine Le Pen has said the French people have voted for continuity, according to Reuters.
11.58 pm: British Prime Minister Theresa May has become one of the first global leaders to congratulate Emmanuel Macron on his projected landslide victory. “The Prime Minister warmly congratulates President-elect Macron on his election success. France is one of our closest allies, and we look forward to working with the new president on a wide range of shared priorities,” an emailed statement from May’s office said.
11.40 pm: As per early projections, Macron has secured 65. 5 per cent as against Macron, who secured 34. 5 per cent in the runoff presidential election.
11.32 pm: As per the French polling agencies, centrist Emmanuel Macron is projected to become the country’s next president.
11.30 pm: With reports projecting Macron to win the presidential election, the euro has surged to a six-month high for the first time since the US election results, according to Reuters.
11.22 pm: Polls for the runoff presidential election will come to a close in a few minutes and subsequently French media will put forward their estimates of the final outcome.
11.00 pm: According to opinion polls, Macron is widely tipped to win the runoff election with three surveys in Belgium giving him over 60 per cent.
10.02 pm: Le Pen, 48, has portrayed the ballot as a contest between “globalists” such as Macron, who back free trade and immigration, and “patriots” who defend national borders and identities.
10.00 pm: French vote turnout at 65.30% at 19:30 IST, six points down on 2012.