Macron: France's youngest president faces divided nation

Emmanuel Macron's next challenge will be to secure a majority in next month's parliamentary election and heal a bitterly divided nation.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron on his way to the Pyramid du Louvre Museum to give a speech to supporters after the 2017 presidential election results, in Paris, France, May 7, 2017.

Emmanuel Macron was elected French president on Sunday, defeating the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. The centrist won with 66 percent of the vote. 

French voters were faced with an often bitter, drawn-out campaign, which culminated in a second round of voting and Macron's victory.

At 39, the pro-European Union former investment banker will become France's youngest-ever president after a crushing win in the run-off, but he faces a formidable challenge to enact his policy programme while trying to unite a fractured and demoralised country.

He has proposed an ambitious domestic reform agenda, including cutting state spending, easing labour laws, boosting education in deprived areas and extending new protections to the self-employed.

The next task for Macron and his La Republique En Marche ("Onward the Republic") political movement, that is barely a year old, will be to secure a majority in next month's parliamentary elections in order to implement his programme.

TRT World's Simon McGregor-Wood brings the story from Paris.

TRTWorld and agencies