French elections 2017: Who is Emmanuel Macron- the youngest President of France; 10 points you need to know

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New Delhi | Updated: May 08, 2017 12:57 PM

French Presidential elections results 2017 are out and Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France.

French Presidential elections results 2017 are out and Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France. (Reuters image)

French Presidential elections results 2017 are out. In a historic verdict, Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France with an apparently business-friendly vision of European integration. Macron defeated Marine Le Pen, a far-right nationalist who threatened to take France out of the European Union. Notably, the centrist’s emphatic victory also smashed the dominance of France’s mainstream parties. The results are likely to bring huge relief to European allies who had feared another populist upheaval to follow Britain’s vote to quit the EU and Donald Trump’s election as US President. As per reports, France’s Interior Ministry said Macron had been elected president with 66.06 percent of valid votes cast in Sunday’s run-off, after accounting for all but 0.01 percent of the country’s 47 million registered voters. A record 11.5 percent of votes cast were either blank or spoiled, while a near-record total of 25.38 percent of the registered voters abstained, the official figures showed, the reports say.

1. At 39, Emmanuel Macron became the youngest president in the 59-year history of the French Fifth Republic, a year younger than Napoleon Bonaparte when he took power in 1804.

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2.Macron becomes not only France’s youngest-ever president but also one of its most unlikely. Until now, modern France had been governed either by the Socialists or the conservatives. Both Macron and Le Pen upended that right-left tradition, as per AP report.

3. Unknown to voters before his turbulent 2014-16 tenure as France’s pro-business economy minister, Macron took a giant gamble by quitting Socialist President Francois Hollande’s government to run as an independent in his first campaign.

4. The philosophy, literature and classical music lover’s startup political movement — optimistically named “En Marche! (Forward)” — caught fire in just one year, harnessing voters’ hunger for new faces and new ideas. Macron has promised a France that would stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin but that also would seek to work with Putin on fighting the Islamic State group, whose extremists have claimed or inspired multiple attacks in France since 2015.

5. The 39-year-old son of two doctors from the northeastern city of Amiens — set to be the youngest president in French history — breaks the mould of a traditional French leader, apart from his elite education in some of the country’s best universities.

6. As a student, Macron worked as an assistant to a famous French philosopher and followed a well-worn path through France’s elite public universities including the ENA, which has groomed many leaders.

7. After first working as a civil servant in the finance ministry, he then went into investment banking, where he earned millions at Rothschild putting together mergers and acquisitions.

8. After resigning from his job as economy minister in August, he set about writing his pre-election book “Revolution” and then finally declared he was running for president on November 16.

9. He is married to his former teacher, glamorous 64-year-old Brigitte Trogneux, a divorced mother of three children whom he fell in love with as a schoolboy. Their relationship has been a subject of fascination, often encouraged by the media-savvy Macron, in French glossy magazines. He has also charted one of the most unlikely paths to the presidency in modern history, from virtual unknown three years ago to leader with no established political party behind him.

10. While at ease among ordinary voters, Macron has been accused of being condescending in the past, whether referring to “illiterate” abattoir workers, “alcoholic” laid-off workers or the “poor people” who travel on buses. In an infamous exchange, when confronted by a protester in a T-shirt in May last year, he lost his cool, saying: “The best way to buy yourself a suit is to work.”

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