“I will defend Europe”; France’s youngest elected president Emmanuel Macron

 

The youngest ever, newly elected French president Mr. Emmanuel Macron on addressing the nation in front of thousands of supporters in the grand country yard of Louvre, promised to work and rebuild ties between Europe and its citizens.

The known centrist, liberal and a left- right candidate at 39 years won a decisive victory in the presidential run of Sunday over socialist Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate by 65% to become the first French President who does not belong to a major political party despite working with the outgoing government he launched an independent political party “En Merche” a year ago.

A former economy minister in the outgoing socialist government, investment banker and senior civil servant grew up in a bourgeois family in Amiens, also served as deputy chief of staff to Hollande but was not part of the Socialist party. He said France was facing an “immense task” to rebuild European unity, fix the economy and ensure security against extremist threats.

Macron’s victory is merely the first step of his efforts to govern France: He must now turn his focus to the next month’s parliamentary elections, during which voters will return to the polls to elect members of the National Assembly, the country’s lower but more powerful house of parliament. The election is particularly important because it will likely determine who becomes Macron’s prime minister.

Although Macron’s young party doesn’t hold any parliamentary seats—making the chances of him commanding a legislative majority or having a premier from his party less likely—it won’t be that way for long. The centrist candidate has vowed to field candidates for all 577 of the chamber’s seats.

 

 

Most European leaders have rushed to welcome the victory of Mr Macron who had flown EU flags at rallies throughout his campaign even using “Ode of Joy” when addressing the nation and has promised to lead a ‘rebirth’ of the European project.

However, the result was welcomed by some senior Conservatives who argued Mr Macron would bring much-needed stability to Europe ahead of the Brexit negotiations, among them, is the German chancellor Angella Merkel who called the victory of Macron a strong opportunity for European Unity.

 

 

Mr. Emmanuel Macron facts

Born in Amiens, Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron is the son of Françoise (Noguès), a physician, and Jean-Michel Macron, professor of neurology  at the University of Picardy. Raised in a non-religious family, he was baptized a Roman Catholic at his own request at age 12.

He was educated mostly at the Jésuites de la Providence lycée in Amiens before his parents sent him to finish his last year of school at the élite Lycée Henri-IV in Paris, where he completed the high school curriculum and the undergraduate program. His parents sent him off to Paris due to their alarm at the bond he had formed with Brigitte Auzière, a married teacher with three children at Jésuites de la Providence, who later became his wife. He studied Philosophy at the University of Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense, obtaining a DEA degree.

Macron was a member of the Socialist Party (PS) from 2006 to 2009.

From 2012 to 2014, he served as deputy secretary-general of the Elysee, a senior role in president Hollande ‘s staff. He was appointed as the Minister of Economy in the second Valls Cabinate on 26 August 2014, replacing Arnoud Montebourg. As Minister of the Economy, Macron was at the forefront of pushing through business-friendly reforms. On 17 February 2015, prime minister manuel Valls pushed Macron’s signature law package through a reluctant parliament using the special 49.3 procedure.

In August 2015, Macron stated that he was no longer a member of the PS and was now an Independent, and in 2016 he founded an independent political party “En Marche”.

STORY BY Kasirye Alex/Kmaupdates

 

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