French ex-premier pledges allegiance to Macron's movement

Claudine Rigal
Mai 18, 2017

President-elect Macron, 39, was previously economy minister in Hollande's cabinet.

Despite her defeat, the results also made record for Le Pen's far-right National Front (FN) party.

The exchange between the two pro-EU leaders was "very warm", a source close to Mr Macron said.

The election of Mr Macron will also be greeted warily in London, where it is feared that his passionate defence of the European Union will translate into a particularly tough line on Brexit.

Meanwhile, the head of the US National Security Agency said Russian Federation was behind the 11th-hour hack of Macron's campaign team 36 hours before voting and that it was US officials who had informed France that a cyber-attack was underway.

Ferrand says the party plans to compete in all 577 parliamentary seats. But it will be contesting its first ever election.

Macron has promised that half will be complete newcomers, meaning a diverse range of figures from business, civil service, local activism and academia are set to make their first foray into politics. That means many of them may be burdened by the handicap of being largely unknown to voters in constituencies they compete for. He is, in some ways, an accidental president whose victory was achieved partly because the traditional centre-right and centre-left parties chose unelectable candidates, hamstrung either by extremism or by personal scandal. "Now we can hope for a rebound in the parliamentary election".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel revealed Mr Macron would be the first foreign leader to welcome the president-elect, after also being the first to speak on the phone to the ex banker since the result was announced. As a former minister in a Socialist government, he could send a bold signal by appointing a prime minister from the opposite political tribe, the centre right. The worst-case scenario for him would be a strong parliamentary majority for his opponents, dictating his choice of prime minister and limiting his presidency.

"Knowing all of this the new French President may well find that winning was the easy bit", said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. But that is far from guaranteed. Macron can't count on their loyalty.

On Monday, several thousand people led by the powerful CGT labor federation marched in protest against Macron's planned liberalization of labor laws. There were brief clashes with police and several arrests. Street demonstrations have stopped previous efforts at economic reform in their tracks for 20 years and more.

In the Paris metro, a defaced advertisement captured the mood.

After her defeat on Sunday night, Marine Le Pen hit the dancefloor on Sunday night and in extraordinary scenes emerging from her party headquarters, she was filmed getting down to I Love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and YMCA by Village People.

"As of today, he [Valls] does not fit the criteria that would allow the investiture committee to take him on, so., [until he joins] the national investiture committee that I preside over can not consider the candidature of Mr. Valls", Jean-Paul Delevoye, who chooses Macron's party's candidates, told Europe 1 radio yesterday.

"I know the anger, the anxiety and the doubts that a large number of you have expressed", Mr. Macron told thousands of cheering and flag-waving supporters at a victory party in the courtyard of the Louvre museum in Paris. (Forward!) movement, a party official said yesterday. Even nominally pro-E.U. leaders such as center-right Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte have more typically vowed to protect their citizens from European Union overreach - hardly a message that would rejuvenate the beleaguered bloc.

Benjamin Boss, a 26-year-old bank worker, on Monday contrasted Macron's win with Britain's vote last year to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as US president. Other indexes across Europe also dipped, while the euro, which briefly hit a six-month high above $1.10 overnight, was down 0.7 percent at $1.0924.

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