Paris, May 8: Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron was declared victor after he won 20.7 million votes, firmly beating Marine Le Pen, who took about 10.6 million in the French Presidential elections’ crucial runoff on Sunday.
According to the official results announced, Macron wins 66.06 per cent of total votes. Le Pen got 33.94 per cent of the votes, BBC quoted the French Interior Ministry as saying.
The turnout in this runoff was nearly 74 per cent — the lowest in almost 50 years.
French media reported that Macron supporters came out on the streets in celebration while Le Pen called him up to congratulate him.
Thanking his supporters, Macron tweeted: “Let us love France. As of this evening and for the coming five years, I am going to serve with humility, with dedication, with determination, in your name.”
Earlier in the day, projections after the polls closed at 8 p.m. (Paris time) showed political novice Macron, who at 39 will be the youngest French President, had secured over 65 per cent of the vote, against his right-wing opponent, Marie Le Pen of the National Front, said the BBC.
“It’s a great honour and a great responsibility. I want to thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he had said.
He also acknowledged the anger of many voters and vowed to protect the weakest members of society
“I will work to renew the links between Europe and its citizens. My duty is to alleviate fears and rekindle optimism. I will fight with all my strength against the divisions that separate us,” he said.
Twice in his speech, the president-elect acknowledged the risks France was facing by climate change and ecological dangers.
Le Pen called him up to congratulate him. She told her supporters at her campaign headquarters that the new divide in France is between “globalists and patriots”.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump were a few of the global leaders who congratulated Macron.
While May “warmly” congratulated Macron in a statement from her office, Trump took to twitter to wish the president elect, BBC reported.
“Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him!” Trump tweeted.
Outgoing French President Francois Hollande also wished Macron on twitter: “All my wishes of success for our country.
Hollande, who had backed Macron in the second round, later called his former economic adviser and economy minister to congratulate him on his win.
“His large victory confirms that a very great majority of our fellow citizens wanted to rally to the values of the Republic and mark their attachment to the European Union as well as to France’s open attitude to the world,” Hollande was quoted as saying.
“I expressed to him all my wishes for the success of our country because the highest stake is it to draw together and work constructively to keep France on the track of progress and social justice,” he said.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker congratulated on Macron’s election victory, saying he was happy that “the French have chosen European future.”
European Council President Donald Tusk also congratulated Macron, saying the French have chosen “liberty, equality, and fraternity.”
German chancellor’s chief of staff Peter Altmaier said over Twitter Macron’s success has sent a strong signal for “common values” and Franco-German ties.
Meanwhile, far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon fiercely criticised Le Pen and Hollande. Jean-Luc Mélenchon won almost a fifth of the vote in the first round, and he hasn’t pulled his punches, with a message savaging both Marine Le Pen and the outgoing president, François Hollande.
“France has rejected the extreme right as a ‘foreign entity in our country’, and has brought to an end ‘the most lamentable presidency of the Fifth Republic’,” Melenchon said.
While some people celebrated Macron’s victory, French police had to fire teargas at a crowd of 500 anti-Macron and anti-LePen protesters at Menilmontant metro station in Paris.