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France’s New President

May 9th, 2017

Emmanuel Macron. Photo credit: Le Web Trends via Wikimedia/Creative Commons

The citizens of France voted for a new leader over the weekend and the winner is … Emmanuel Macron .

He’s France’s youngest president ever at just 39 years old. He’s also never been elected to any kind of political office before. In fact, he started his own political party, En Marche, about a year ago. He did, however, serve as France’s Economy Minister, so he had that important government experience.

He won 66% of the vote, so he won by a lot. His opponent, Marine Le Pen, won about 34% of the vote. Approximately 20.7 million people voted for Mr. Macron and 10.6 million people voted for Ms. Le Pen.

Much of the world was watching to see what would happen in this election because France was considered to be at a crossroads. Mr. Macron wants France to continue being part of the European Union. He is business, trade, and immigrant friendly. Former President Barack Obama supported Mr. Macron’s campaign .

A win for Marine Le Pen would have resulted in a very different vision for France. Ms. Le Pen had wanted a Frexit, France’s exit from the European Union (similar to Brexit , Britain’s recent exit from European Union membership). She is also less friendly toward people who come to France from other countries. During the campaign, her politics were often compared to President Trump’s.

While many people are focusing on Mr. Macron’s landslide win and characterizing Ms. Le Pen’s defeat as a big one, others are pointing out that Ms. Le Pen’s party, Front National, did the best it ever has and that there’s growing support for her ideas.

France has a population of 66 million people and in terms of land is a bit larger than the state of Texas.

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