A new president is born. So, what next?


France’s new president is born. And thankfully it is not a she. On Sunday 7 May, French people elected 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron with 66.1 % of the vote, making him one of the youngest presidents in the world. It is a relief that France resisted the current trend of voting for extreme political measures or electing a populist mad-hatter as the head of their country. With this election, France has shown that democracy is stronger than hate, that French republican values are vibrant and most of all that people believe in the future of Europe, in the future of their country and in progress. It has also shown that people believe in each other and that despite the terrible events France has had to face in the past two and a half years, people are still united and willing to fight terrorism together instead of hiding underneath their bedsheets and hoping that, somehow, everything will calm down.

However, the election leaves France at a divide. Many voters chose Macron out of strategy to prevent the National Front and Marine Le Pen from acceding to power. Moreover, all are not convinced by his hardly tangible political programme and political inexperience. Macron will have to prove that he can live up to his political promises and that his fresh optimism doesn’t fade down. If he fails, the National Front will grow more fierce and stronger than ever before as its dark, fear-fuelled politics slowly become the last option French people are faced with. Macron could then be responsible for a Le Pen president in five years’ time, thus converting himself into what would seem to be a French David Cameron.

After having once again been defeated during a presidential final round, Marine Le Pen nevertheless hopes to gain a majority of seats at the National Assembly when people will vote to elect deputies next June (an election which goes by the nickname of ‘third round’). In order to achieve his promises, Macron needs a majority of deputies from his own party to be elected. The National Front says it will stand as the main opposition party facing the new government. Most of extreme left-wing Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s electors also voted against the National Front during the final round of the election but it is the least to say that they do not agree with Macron’s economical liberalism and pro-European ideology. All in all, for many French voters, Macron was the 'least worst' option.

Though Macron and his wife Brigitte, whom he met as a student teenager in high school, form an unusual couple, Macron has always defended his modern views on life, both private and public. His France will be different, yes; guided by a unique and unusual approach - but it may be the breath of fresh air we’ve all been waiting for. 

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