Thousands demonstrate against new French president Macron

May 12, 2017, 12:25

Macron's landslide win over the far-right's Marine Le Pen has been hailed a victory of hope and optimism, over fear and reaction.

Benoit Hamon, who as the Socialist presidential candidate finished fifth in the first round of the election, said he planned to launch a new leftwing movement. Le Pen's campaign advisers say the National Front is now the "primary opposition party in the country".

This accelerated procedure, bypassing parliament, could mean a fiery start to his term as France's highly activist unions would likely bring protests out onto the streets, as they did past year when Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls used the tactic.

Valls, a high-profile politician on the pro-business right of the Socialist party, said on Tuesday he was interested in joining Macron - a move that has angered Socialist colleagues who are trying to prepare to fight the legislative elections after taking a beating in the vote for president.

French president-elect Emmanuel Macron smiles as he arrives to deliver a speech in front of the Pyramid at the Louvre Museum in the capital, Paris, on May 7, 2017, after the second round of the French presidential election.

Welcoming Macron, Chair of United Kingdom based Sikh Federation Amrik Singh said: "We have been in regular contact with Sikhs in France and understand his political position on many issues could result in improvements for the small minority Sikh community in France in terms of religious freedoms".

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He received altogether 264 valid votes, while his rival Marine Le Pen got only 50 votes.

"Euroscepticism in France has taken a massive leap forward", Farage said, adding that National Front leader Le Pen "can win in 2022" if she runs in the next election.

Sylvie Goulard, a French deputy to the European Parliament, said Macron would make Berlin his first official visit, with perhaps a stop to see French troops stationed overseas as well.

"German support can't replace French policies", she said. France is deeply divided and the election result reflected a very disturbing rise in ultraright support, particularly in the rust-belt areas of the country.

May has called an early election for June 8, arguing that her Conservatives need a bigger majority in order to stand firm against - and strike deals with - the EU.

The euro had rallied after the first round of voting late in April, but has dropped since it became clear on Sunday evening that Macron was victorious.

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