French ex-prime minister Valls plans to back Macron in June elections

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 20, 2017

The former Socialist Party economy minister's closeness to the German leader had prompted his rival for the presidency, Marine Le Pen, to declare Sunday's vote would result in a female president whoever won: "Either me or Angela Merkel!"

On Monday, Macron resigned as the leader of En Marche! political movement, with Catherine Barbaroux appointed as an interim leader.

His party is changing its name to La Republique En Marche (Republic on the Move) as it prepares a list of candidates.

During the election, Macron's camp accused Russian Federation of trying to influence the French election by spreading "fake news" through state-controlled media.

He had garnered around 66% against Le Pen's 34% - a wider gap than the 20 or so percentage points pre-election surveys had suggested.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wanted to work together with Macron on a "progressive agenda" to "promote global security, increase collaboration in science and technology, and create good, middle-class jobs on both sides of the Atlantic".

Macron is scheduled to attend a series of events and ceremonies with outgoing president Francois Hollande on Monday.

"It is this great choice. that will be submitted to the French in legislative elections", she said in her concession speech.

On the eve of the election Macron stated in a French television interview that he backs a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that unilaterally recognizing Palestine would cause instability and would harm France's relations with Israel.

Sylvie Goulard, a French deputy to the European Parliament, said Macron would make Berlin his first official visit, with perhaps a stop to see French troops stationed overseas as well.

At the least, Briois, the interim party president who is also mayor of the National Front's northern bastion, Henin-Beaumont, said the party thinks it can get enough lawmakers in the parliamentary voting to form a group - 15.

Nicolas Bay is the National Front's Secretary General:"The mutation in our movement must take into account the electoral dimension".

"His large victory confirms that a very large majority of our citizens wanted to assemble around the values of the Republic and mark their attachment to the European Union as well as to the openness of France in the world", Hollande said in a statement.

"But the firm support for Marine Le Pen, and other anti-EU parties, in Europe show that not everyone is happy with the European Union".

Macron, who topped the first round of the election on April 23, campaigned on a pro-EU, pro-business platform, while Le Pen, a staunch anti-immigration candidate, wanted France to leave the 28-nation bloc and abandon the euro currency.

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