Home Editorial FRANCE HAS A NEW PRESIDENT

FRANCE HAS A NEW PRESIDENT

COMMENTARY 10.05.2017

The second round of France’s presidential election is over. The winner, Emanuel Macron, has been decided, and  just waiting for the inauguration only. On May 14, Macron, who is 39 years old,  will be the youngest president in France ever, replacing  his mentor while still active in the Socialist party, Francois Hollande.

Probably not many people know that Francois Hollande was upset when  Macron left the Socialist ranks and set up an independent movement, En Marche, some time before the presidential election. Eventually Hollande melted and supported Macron's movement after in the first round of voting, socialist Benoit Hamon did not enter the top two. Hollande even appealed to the French people not to choose Marine Le Pen and only give their votes to Emmanuel Macron.

The French presidential election this time was a pretty tough political battle. If Marine Le Pen had won, the political direction would obviously be anti-EU. In fact it is not impossible there would be Frexit alias French Exit referring  to the Brexit or British Exit from  the European Union. The national sentiment built by  Front National Party, though not yet leading Marine Le Pen to become the first female president in France, has made this party rose to the ranks to be reckoned with. Marine Le Pen managed to win  34% of the votes in the last election, which means 1/3 voters. Macron himself won the election with  66% of the vote or 2/3 votes.

Winning the  elections requires Macron to unite the divided France. His opponent in the election, Marine Le Pen is determined to join  the Legislative election next June. From this election it  can be seen whether Emanuel Macron became president with the support of the majority or not. If so, the tough task awaits Macron, such as setting up employment , as well as improving the  slow economy. But if not, his job will be even harder because surely his policy will be hindered by Marine Le Pen in opposition.

Macron's victory, despite the allegation that his party's campaign website was hacked, like the hacking of democratic sites during the US presidential election, was welcomed by supporters and the EU. Russia, the country that allegedly hacked the Macron site also welcomed this victory through  a phone call  made by President  Vladimir Putin to Macron.

President Macron is expected to be able to implement domestic policies that can restore the French economy. The framework of cooperation within the EU can certainly push France out of the crisis. Strong France will make the EU even stronger. That means cooperation with other regions including ASEAN and Indonesia will also be better.

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