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Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen Advance to French Election Runoff
Posted on Apr 23, 2017
Whether France will remain aligned with the European Union or will follow the United Kingdom and head for a “Frexit” largely comes down to which presidential candidate emerges victorious in the next round of the election. On Sunday, French voters favored two very different contenders to proceed to the next round, on May 7: the centrist, pro-Europe newcomer Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, who has promised a Frexit referendum.
Graphics from Politico showed the closeness of the contest as the votes were counted.
As results were tallied, The New York Times reported that, as in recent elections in the U.S. and U.K., the French vote indicated a rejection of mainstream politics. Here are details from the Times’ account:
After the election result became clear, left-wing opponents of Le Pen and Macron clashed with police on the streets of Paris. Britain’s daily newspaper The Telegraph wrote:
Given the similarities between Le Pen and Donald Trump on key platform issues such as immigration and national identity, the parallels between the presidential election in France and the 2016 equivalent in the U.S. also have been a source of interest and anxiety, depending on allegiances.
Macron is a 39-year-old newcomer to France’s political scene whose status as a relative unknown may have helped him thus far, but if recent U.S. history is any indication, to clinch a win he’ll probably need to present more of a distinct profile than that of being anti-Le Pen.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s tally represents the end of the line for the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon and establishment-right candidate François Fillon. Read Alan Minsky’s report about Mélenchon’s message here.
—Posted by Kasia Anderson
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