The turmoil of the French election had the eyes of the world turned their way this afternoon as the projected result of the election was announced. For many Americans, this was one of the first foreign elections that caught our attention since our own controversial election of Donald Trump in November 2016. The two headlining candidates, Emmanuel Macron, a centrist, and Marine Le Pen, his far-right rival have been campaigning head to head for months now. Learning from the mistakes of the 2016 USA election, French citizens became concerned with the hyper-conservative, anti-E.U. views of Le Pen and approached this year’s election with added caution. Following the British decision to leave the E.U., or ‘Brexit’, last June, Europe has learned the importance of the moderate vote. A dominant presence of far-right conservatives in office throughout Europe gives way to the potential for international conflict.
Donald Trump came dangerously close to endorsing Le Pen, praising her for her immigration policies following the terrorist attacks plaguing France. Le Pen has also been infamous for praising Donald Trump and crediting his campaign for inspiring hers. Many French citizens took his praise as a means for added caution, as Donald Trump is controversial on the international front as well. It is also hypothesized that the popular former-US president, Obama’s, endorsement of Macron may have helped the centrist and strong E.U. supporter to gain popularity.
Macron is currently projected to win the French presidency with 65.1% of the votes opposed to Le Pen’s 34.9%. For many moderate and liberal French voters, Macron’s success is a sigh of relief. His pro-diversity policies will prevent unjust political rhetoric against Muslims, as spread by both Le Pen and Trump, in the wake of radical terrorist groups inspiring more and more misunderstandings of the religion. Macron will be the youngest president, age 39, in the history of the Fifth Republic of France. His election may be the key to preventing a “Frexit” from the European Union- preserving the organization that is critical to preventing widespread European financial crisis and for maintaining unity.
Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron!