Emmanuel Macron made a plea for national unity in a speech to thousands of supporters celebrating his win in France’s presidential election. “We will not give into fear, we will not give into division,” the 39-year-old centrist said. He also reached out to the millions who voted for his vanquished far-right rival Marine Le Pen, pledging to bring them back from the “extremes”.
“They voted out of anger, distress and sometimes conviction. I respect them,” he told the flag-waving crowd. “I will do everything I can over the next five years to ensure that people no longer have any reason to vote for extremes.”
Macron also made a gesture to left-wing and right-wing voters who backed him to block a Le Pen presidency, despite not supporting his programme.
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“I also want to address the people who voted for me without sharing our ideas. I know it is not a blank cheque,” said Macron. And to the French people, he said: “I will protect you against threats. I will bring you together because I want us to be unified.”