Macron gears up for challenges ahead
PARIS — French President-elect Emmanuel Macron has laid the groundwork for his transition to power, announcing a visit to Germany and a name change for his political movement and appearing with his predecessor at a solemn World War II commemoration.
Macron handily defeated far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s presidential runoff, and now must pull together a majority of lawmakers for his year-old political movement to run in the mid-june legislative election.
His party is changing its name to La Republique En Marche (Republic on the Move) as it prepares a list of candidates. Macron has promised that half of those candidates will be new to elected politics, as he was before his victory Sunday.
Macron won the presidency with 66 percent of votes cast for a candidate. But a high number of blank or spoiled votes and unusually low turnout are signs of an electorate dissatisfied with its choices. AP
Le Pen says she will lead the opposition to Macron. The National Front, meanwhile, is also gearing up for a name change — if not a makeover of its ideas — after Le Pen’s decisive loss.
In interviews Monday, National Front officials said the party founded by her father would get a new name to try and draw in a broader spectrum of supporters.
“The National Front is a tool that will evolve to be more efficient, bring even more people together after the number of voters we reached last night.
And so we have an immense responsibility vis-a-vis the French people, who trust us,” said Nicolas Bay, the party’s secretary-general.