Centrist politician Emmanuel Macron was projected to win the French presidential election on Sunday over far right candidate Marine Le Pen, France’s president and prime minister said.
At 39, Macron will be France’s youngest leader since Napoleon Bonaparte. “I called Emmanuel Macron tonight to congratulate him warmly on his election as President of the Republic,” President Francois Hollande said in a statement. Hollande said the large margin of victory confirmed that a majority of citizens had rallied around “the values of the Republic” and affirmed their support for the European Union.
As of 10 p.m. local time in Paris (4 p.m. ET) on Sunday, Macron had won 57.85 percent of the vote while Le Pen had earned 42.15 percent, according to the French Ministry of the Interior. “After a long democratic battle, you have decided to give me your trust, I am very grateful,” Macron said in a speech from his headquarters about an hour after his victory was first projected. Macron vowed to address his country’s “social fractures” and said he knew what had “pushed people” to vote for the extreme. “Tonight, and over the next five years, I will serve France in your name with humility, devotion and determination,” he said.
Later, speaking to a cheering crowd of thousands in front of the iconic Louvre Museum in Paris, Macron said that what his supporters had accomplished “does not have a precedent or an equivalent.”