Tuesday 25 July 2017

Macron win is a victory for hope - but now comes the hard part

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at his campaign headquarters in Paris last night. Photo: Reuters/Lionel Bonaventure
French President-elect Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at his campaign headquarters in Paris last night. Photo: Reuters/Lionel Bonaventure
John Downing

John Downing

The French certainly have their own way of doing things. Their new president was never, ever, before elected to any public office in his life - not even to a local council.

Now France's president-elect, Emmanuel Macron, is the supreme political leader of 67 million people with wide-ranging direct powers of government. He faces some very big hurdles in the coming weeks - not least gearing up his 13-month-old political movement, 'En Marche', for elections to the 577-seat national parliament in six weeks' time.

Right now the political outsider, absolutely unheard of in France only three years ago, has no members of parliament. He also faces the uphill task of trying to mollify a very disillusioned section of the French population, the one in three who chose the Front National's Marine Le Pen and her messages of nationalistic retrenchment.

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