MACRON WINS FRENCH PRESIDENCY BY EMPHATIC MARGIN

By The far right nationalist Donald Trump's election as U.S. president. Updated at 2017-05-08 04:11:04 +0000

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Emmanuel Macron has been elected president of France with a business-friendly vision of European integration, defeating Marine Le Pen, a far-right nationalist who threatened to take France out of the European Union.

Independent Macron topped 66 percent of the vote as the interior ministry counted the final few votes in France's presidential election early on Monday.

The ministry said Macron had been elected president with 66.06 percent of valid votes cast in Sunday's run-off, after accounting for all but 0.01 percent of the country's 47 million registered voters.

A record 11.5 percent of votes cast were either blank or spoiled, while a near-record total of 25.38 percent of the registered voters abstained, the official figures showed.

The centrist's emphatic victory, which also smashed the dominance of France’s mainstream parties, will bring huge relief to European allies who had feared another populist upheaval to follow Britain's vote to quit the EU and the far right nationalist Donald Trump's election as U.S. president.

The 39-year-old former investment banker, who served for two years as economy minister but has never previously held elected office, will now become France's youngest leader since Napoleon with a promise to transcend left-right divisions.

Merkel's spokesman says in Tweet - congratulations to Emmanuel Macron, your victory is a victory for a strong and united Europe and for Franco-German friendship.

Statement from UK premier Teresa May: "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.”

Paris' main mosque says Macron's election gives hope to French muslims, that they can live in harmony and respect French values.

Biggest challenge for President Macron now: He needs to win a parliamentary majority in the June elections.

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