French President Macron Votes In Second Round Of Parliamentary Election

French President, Emmanuel Macron cast his vote in the coastal town of Le Touquet on Sunday in the second round of the country’s parliamentary elections, with opinion polls indicating his centrist Republic on the Move (LREM) party likely to win a massive majority in the lower house.

Macron greeted locals and posed for photos outside the polling station, and was applauded by some in the crowd as he voted in the election which comes just one month after the 39-year-old former banker became the youngest head of state in modern French history.

Turnout, though, could touch record lows, in a sign of voter fatigue after seven months of roller-coaster campaigning and voting, but also of disillusionment and anger with politics that could eventually complicate Macron’s reform drive.

Macron’s LREM party is barely more than a year old yet pollsters project it will win as many as 75-80 percent of seats in the 577-seat lower house.

Macron Replaces Hollande As Head Of State

Credit: politico.eu.com

Central Paris came to a standstill on Sunday (May 14) for the inauguration of Emmanuel Macron as president of France for a five-year term.

Macron overcame the odds to win an election, saying he can unite a divided nation.

In a first for the world’s fifth largest economy that is a founding member of the European Union, the 39-year-old centrist newcomer was unknown to the wider public three years ago and does not belong to any traditional political grouping.

The former investment banker will become the youngest postwar French leader and the first to be born after 1958 when President Charles de Gaulle put in place the country’s fifth Republic.

A 21-gun salute at the Esplanade des Invalides behind the Eiffel Tower after he takes power will mark at least a pause in the anti-globalisation trend that brought Donald Trump the U.S. presidency and led British voters to pick a future outside the European Union.

But the outcome of a fraught, tight, and bitterly contested election campaign was a disappointment for almost half of France’s 47 million voters.

Many of them feel dispossessed as manufacturing jobs move abroad and as immigration and a fast-changing world blur their sense of a French identity.

French Activists, Unions Protest Against Macron’s Policies

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Paris on Monday, one day after Emmanuel Macron was elected French president in protest against his planned labour reforms.

The 39-year-old centrist has promised to transcend the traditional right-left political divide that has allowed vested interests to block fundamental economic reforms.

But Macron, a former banker, is a well-known target of left-wing protests.
Demonstrators, led by the powerful CGT trade union, said he was preparing to implement his “ultra-liberal policies”.

“We will be vigilant and we won’t accept that he continues the work he started when he was in power – it is to say, to destroy the labour code as he began to do, on this matter we won’t leave him alone,” said NGO employee Benjamin Fuche.

One of the protesters, Benjamin Fuche, said, “Well, we are here to show to president-elect Macron that we are not going to leave him in alone.

The 27-year-old NGO employee, said they would watch Macron closely to ensure he doesn’t implement the labour law.

“He announced that he will pass laws very quickly, notably on the labour law, so it’s an answer to these announcements, to show that we are present even if some people voted for him, even if we have voted for him, we will be vigilant and we won’t accept that he continues the work he started when he was in power – it is to say, to destroy the labour code as he began to do, on this matter we won’t leave him alone,” Fuche said.

Macron                                                             Source: Official Leweb Photos

During a two-year stint as economy minister he pushed through reforms deregulating Sunday working and introducing more competition to the legal profession and long-haul bus routes.

The “Macron law” sparked nation-wide protests and was opposed by unions and left-wingers in parliament, ultimately forced through by decree to avoid a government defeat.

Reuters

French Election: Hollande, Merkel Congratulate Macron

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande have congratulated French President-elect Emmanuel Macron.

While Hollande wished him success in addressing France’s challenges, Merkel expressed delight in his support for a social market economy.

Germany woke on Monday to confirmation that centrist Emmanuel Macron was elected French president on Sunday.

Macron, who has a business-friendly vision of European integration, defeated Marine Le Pen, a far-right nationalist who threatened to take France out of the European Union.

With virtually all votes counted, Macron had topped 66 percent against just under 34 percent for Le Pen – a gap wider than the 20 or so percentage points that pre-election surveys had suggested.

German commuters reacted with relief that Le Pen had not won but were less than overjoyed that Macron was the only alternative.

The French president-elect spoke by phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after his election win, promising to visit Berlin soon, and discussed Brexit with British Prime Minister Theresa May, sources said.

Merkel said, “I was delighted about the fantastic electoral success of Emmanuel Macron and I congratulated him personally yesterday by telephone.

“Emmanuel Macron carries the hopes of millions of French people and of many people in Germany and the whole of Europe. He conducted a brave, pro-European campaign. He stands for openness to the world. He stands firmly behind a social market economy and we know that Germany and France are bound by fate.”

Macron Claims Massive Computer Hack, Emails Leaked Online

Macron Source: Official Leweb Photos

Leading French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign said on Friday night that it had been the target of a “massive” computer hack that dumped its campaign e-mails online.

The incident occurred one and a half days before voters choose between the centrist candidate and his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen.

As much as nine gigabytes of data were posted on a profile called EMLEAKS to Pastebin, a site that allows anonymous document sharing. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for posting the data or if any of it was genuine.
In a written statement, Macron’s political movement En Marche! (Onwards!) confirmed that it had been hacked.

“The En Marche! Movement has been the victim of a massive and co-ordinated hack this evening which has given rise to the diffusion on social media of various internal information,” the statement said.

An interior ministry official declined to comment, citing French rules that forbid any commentary liable to influence an election, which took effect at midnight on Friday.

Former economy minister Macron’s campaign has previously complained about attempts to hack its e-mails, blaming Russian interests in part for the cyberattacks.

Researchers with security firm Trend Micro in Tokyo, said they had found evidence that the spy group, dubbed “Pawn Storm”, targeted the Macron campaign with email phishing tricks and attempts to install malware on the campaign site at least in four separate attempts.

Reuters

French Election: Citizens Go To Polls Amid Tight Security

Large numbers of French citizens have been turning out in cities around the world to vote amid high security following a deadly attack on Paris Police three days ago.

About 50,000 police and 7,000 soldiers are reported to have being deployed across the country to secure the polls.

Eleven candidates are vying to be the next president, with candidates spanning the political spectrum.

If no-one wins 50%, the two with the most votes will go to a run-off round in a fortnight’s time.

Four candidates are currently seen as being within reach of the presidency: the conservative François Fillon, the far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, Liberal Centrist Emmanuel Macron and the far-left’s Jean-Luc Mélenchon.