Newly-elected president Emmanuel Macron has vowed to protect France against threats and unify the country.
Early on Monday, the French Interior Ministry announced that Macron had been officially elected president after winning 66.06 percent of valid votes in the run-off.
It also announced that 11.5 percent of the votes had been either blank or spoiled, while just over 25 percent of the country’s registered voters had abstained.
“We will not give into fear, we will not give into division,” said Macron during his victory speech late on Sunday after projected results showed he had defeated Marine Le Pen.
“I will serve you with humility, with strength. I will serve you by remaining true to the Republic’s principles of ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’. I will serve you to be loyal to the trust you showed me. I will serve you with love. Long live the Republic, long live France!,” said the 39-year-old centrist who is set to become the country’s youngest leader ever in six weeks.
“Our task is huge. It will require us to build, from tomorrow onwards, a real majority, a strong majority. This majority to carry out change is what the country is hoping for and what the country deserves,” he noted.
He further reached out to those who had voted for Le Pen, vowing to bring them back from the “extremes.” “They voted out of anger, distress and sometimes conviction. I respect them…will do everything I can over the next five years to ensure that people no longer have any reason to vote for extremes,” he said.
After her defeat was announced, Le Pen gave a speech to her supporters in which she wished Macron success in dealing with the “huge challenges” ahead of him.
She also noted that her National Front party must renew itself and vowed that she would begin the “deep transformation of our movement.”
Congratulation flow in for Macron
US President Donald Trump wrote an early congratulation to the French President elect.
“Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him!,” he said via twitter.
“We congratulate President-elect Macron and the people of France on their successful presidential election. We look forward to working with the new President and continuing our close cooperation with the French government,” read a statement released by the White House.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hailed Macron’s victory, stressing that he looked forward “to working closely with President-elect Macron in the years ahead.” “Canada and France share a warm and historic relationship, rooted in our common history, deep cultural ties, people-to-people connections, and strong economic partnership,” he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff congratulated Macron, tweeting in French “Vive la France, Vive L’Europe!” or “Long live France, long live Europe!”
Merkel also spoke to the president elect over the phone, and praised him for his support of a “united and open European Union.”
A Downing Street spokesman announced that UK Prime Minister Theresa May said she looks forward to working with Macron.
“The Prime Minister warmly congratulates President-elect Macron on his election success. France is one of our closest allies and we look forward to working with the new President on a wide range of shared priorities,” said a statement.