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Emmanuel Macron Is Forced To Admit That Voters Chose Him To Block France's Right Wing

Emmanuel Macron has become the first French president in 20 years to win a second term after comfortably beating far-right challenger Marine Le Pen.

The final result announced by the Interior Ministry saw Mr Macron get 58.54% of the votes compared with Ms Le Pen's 41.46%

Five years ago, Mr Macron won a sweeping victory to become France's youngest president at 39

Cheers erupted at the foot of the Eiffel Tower where supporters of the president celebrated his re-election

And in his victory speech, Mr Macron said he will be "president for all of us" in France

"Many of our compatriots voted for me not out of support for my ideas but to block those of the 'extreme' right."

"I want to thank them and I know that I have a duty towards them in the years to come."

"We will have to be benevolent and respectful because our country is riddled with so many doubts, so many divisions."

"No one will be left by the wayside. It will be up to us to work together to achieve this unity which will enable us to live happier lives in France. The years to come will certainly not be quiet, but they will be historic."

Boos and whistles broke out at the campaign party of his challenger before she conceded defeat.

"Tonight's result is in itself an earth-shattering victory (for us)," she told her supporters.

"I fear that the five-year term that is about to begin will not break with the brutal methods of the previous one."

"In order to avoid the monopolisation of power by a few, more than ever I will pursue my commitment to France and the French people with the energy, perseverance and affection that you know me for."

Correspondent Ali Fortescue described the mood in the Le Pen camp as "subdued" with many fearing this was her last chance to become president.

And in the central Paris neighbourhood of Chatelet, riot police charged and sprayed tear gas on demonstrators.

Police sought to break up a crowd of mostly young people who had gathered to protest the result.

European Council President Charles Michel, as well as the prime ministers of Belgium and Luxembourg, were among the first European leaders to congratulate Mr Macron.

"Bravo Emmanuel," Mr Michel wrote on Twitter.

"In this turbulent period, we need a solid Europe and a France totally committed to a more sovereign and more strategic European Union."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz tweeted: "Your constituents also sent a strong commitment to Europe today. I am pleased that we will continue our good cooperation!"

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "Congratulations to @EmmanuelMacron on your re-election as President of France.

"France is one of our closest and most important allies. I look forward to continuing to work together on the issues which matter most to our two countries and to the world."

US President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter: "Congratulations to @EmmanuelMacron on his re-election. France is our oldest ally and a key partner in addressing global challenges. I look forward to our continued close cooperation - including on supporting Ukraine, defending democracy, and countering climate change."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted: "Congratulations to the President and a true friend @EmmanuelMacron on the election victory."

The next hurdle is only a few weeks ahead.

Parliamentary elections in June will define the make-up of the government Mr Macron must rely on to see through reform plans that would be an unprecedented shake-up of France's welfare state.

Newly elected presidents can usually expect to get a majority in parliament whenever legislative elections directly follow the presidential vote because of the generally low turnout among supporters of all the defeated candidates.

However, in her concession speech, Ms Le Pen sounded defiant, promising a strong opposition bloc in parliament.

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