Paris: In a victory speech, Emmanuel Macron, 44, with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face, assured those who did not vote for him: “I am no longer the candidate of one camp, but the President of all.”
But on a more emotional note, on a brightly lit stage in the Place de la Republique in central Paris, his wife Brigitte with him, thousands of people as his audience, and the iconic Eiffel Tower glowing in the background, Macron vowed “to heal the divisions that have been expressed in these elections, by ensuring respect for everyone, every day.”
He said: “The years to come will certainly be difficult, but they will be historic and we will have to write them, together, for the new generations.”
According to Ipsos-Sopra Steria, computing the result, Macron won with 58.8 percent votes in his favor compared to 41.2 percent for his far-Right challenger, the 53-year-old Marine Le Pen. The margin of Macron’s win was narrower than five years ago when he attracted 66 percent of the votes to the same opponent’s 34 percent.
In her concession speech, a defiant Le Pen said: “The ideas we stand for are reaching new heights.” Certainly, she had gained seven percent on her showing five years ago.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, tweeted: “Together we will make France and Europe advance.” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Macron’s win “is splendid news for all of Europe”.
“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.”
– Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Macron’s victory was good news for India. The Indian government has been familiar with Macron since he was a Cabinet Minister in the socialist President Francois Hollande’s (2012-2017) government. He has, therefore, represented a continuing and steadfast alliance with India on defense, security, intelligence sharing, and economic cooperation since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government. (IANS)