Emmanuel Macron was re-elected President of France on Sunday, defeating his rival Marine Le Pen by a comfortable margin. Many voters aren’t thrilled with Macron but consider him to be the lesser of two evils, as compared to Marine Le Pen, who has been described as far right.
“I am no longer the candidate of a camp but the president of everyone,” said President Macron, against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower, reported CNBC. Mr. Macron’s victory sidestepped a political upheaval for Europe. Mr. Macron acknowledged dissatisfaction with his first term, but said that he would seek to make amends.
While exit polls showed a solid 58.5% of the vote, President Macron acknowledged in his victory speech that many only voted for him to keep out Ms. Le Pen, and he promised to address the fact that many feel that the standard of living is slipping.
However, President Macron won by a smaller margin than he did in 2017. In 2017, Mr. Macron won with 66.1% of the vote.
‘Many in this country voted for me not because they support my ideas but to keep out those of the far-right. I want to thank them and know I owe them a debt in the years to come. No one in France will be left by the wayside. Because each one of us counts for more than just himself … This is what makes the French people such a unique force which I love so intensely and which I am so proud to be serving again,” said President Macron, according to Reuters.
The cost of living has become an increasing strain for the poorest in the country. Additionally, the past two years of upheaval caused by the pandemic as well as surging energy prices which have been exacerbated by the Ukrainian war caused economic issues to be catapulted to the forefront of the campaign.
“He needs to be closer to the people and to listen to them,” digital sales worker Virginie, 51, said at the Macron rally, reported Reuters. She also added that Mr. Macron needed to overcome a reputation for arrogance and soften a leadership style President Macron himself described as Jupiterian.