Tur­moil fol­lows French elec­tion re­sult

Ris­ing po­lit­i­cal star deals fresh blow to the far right

Cape Breton Post - - World -

Ma­rine Le Pen suf­fered a new jolt to the party on Wed­nes­day as her niece, France’s youngest law­maker and an icon of the far right, an­nounced she plans to leave pol­i­tics.

The de­ci­sion by Marion Marechal-Le Pen, who rep­re­sents the party’s con­ser­va­tive flank and core val­ues, kicks one more block from un­der the party, which is look­ing to re­make it­self and even change its name.

That job won’t be done in time for next month’s elec­tions for par­lia­ment — where the Na­tional Front des­per­ately needs a good show­ing.

Em­manuel Macron, an up­start cen­trist and the youngest man elected to the pres­i­dency, was the vic­tor in Sun­day’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

France’s con­sti­tu­tional Coun­cil on Wed­nes­day an­nounced the of­fi­cial re­sults from the pres­i­den­tial runoff — 20,743,128 votes were cast for Macron and 10,638475 for Le Pen. The ab­sten­tion rate was 25.4 per cent.

Ma­rine Le Pen took com­fort with the num­ber of votes she won, which were a his­toric high for her party but about half of Macron’s to­tal. She de­clared

the Na­tional Front would be the main op­po­si­tion to Macron’s Repub­lic On the Move.

With a hand­shake and a “Mr. Pres­i­dent” to his suc­ces­sor, Fran­cois Hol­lande — chief of state un­til Sun­day — sig­nalled the start of a new era in French pol­i­tics where the new power bro­kers have all but wiped away pol­i­tics as usual in favour of move­ments still in the mak­ing

— Macron’s and Le Pen’s. Both say they are “nei­ther left nor right.”

On the far left, the Com­mu­nist Party and the party of de­feated pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Jean-Luc Me­len­chon are mess­ily di­vorc­ing. They cam­paigned to­gether for Me­len­chon’s pres­i­den­tial run that saw him surge late in the cam­paign and get nearly 20 per cent of the first-round vote,

nar­rowly missing a place in the runoff. But they ap­pear in­creas­ingly likely to field can­di­dates sep­a­rately in the leg­isla­tive vot­ing.

Hol­lande’s So­cial­ist Party, with a ma­jor­ity in the out­go­ing par­lia­ment, is tum­bling into dis­ar­ray. And the main­stream right is torn be­tween want­ing to work with Macron or clip the new pres­i­dent’s wings.

AP PHOTO

French Pres­i­dent-elect Em­manuel Macron poses with sup­port­ers af­ter a cer­e­mony com­mem­o­rat­ing the abo­li­tion of slav­ery, in Paris, Wed­nes­day.

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