Frenchman Macron wins second term, beats Le Pen in first re-election victory in 20 years

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French President Emanuele Macrona centrist, successfully rejected a challenge from right-wing Marine Le Pen on Sunday, winning FranceThe first presidential re-election in 20 years.

Macron, 44, won his second 5-year term after garnering 58.5% of the vote in the presidential ballot, a tighter victory than when he defeated Le Pen in 2017.

In his victory speech, the French president said he was encouraged to reunite the country which is “full of so many doubts, so many divisions” and promised a future in which “no one will be left on the road”.

French President Emmanuel Macron greets Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (L) before their meeting at the Elysee Presidential Palace on December 01, 2021 in Paris, France.

French President Emmanuel Macron greets Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (L) before their meeting at the Elysee Presidential Palace on December 01, 2021 in Paris, France.
(Chesnot / Getty Images)

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Le Pen, 53, similarly celebrated Sunday night, calling his defeat a “shining victory” as his party garnered 41.5 percent of the vote, more than it did just five years ago.

“In this defeat, I can’t help but feel a form of hope,” he said.

Supporters of French President Emmanuel Macron watch a screen in front of the Eiffel Tower as the first election screenings are announced in Paris, France on Sunday, April 24, 2022.

Supporters of French President Emmanuel Macron watch a screen in front of the Eiffel Tower as the first election screenings are announced in Paris, France on Sunday, April 24, 2022.
(Photo AP / Thibault Camus)

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The course was between Russia and Ukraine has been a focal point in the campaign as Macron pushed for international cooperation and a NATO-led strategy to crack down on violence between countries.

“We have a lot to do and it was inside Ukraine it reminds us that we are going through tragic times in which France must make its voice heard, “Macron said in his speech.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen gestures as she arrives to speak after the first screenings of the French presidential election ballot results were announced in Paris on Sunday, April 24, 2022. (Photo AP / Francois Mori)

On the contrary, Le Pen campaigned to separate France from its international duties, advocating removal from the EU and NATO. The challenger has suggested a more neutral approach to dealing with Russian aggression and a refocusing on the French people.

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Le Pen’s party broke an unprecedented level of support, which helped trigger the ballot. Le Pen had previously lost the election with 34% of the vote, against Macron’s 66%.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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