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    French presidential election winner, En Marche! leader Emmanuel Macron, center left, delivering his victory speech near Louvre, Paris.

    Soft Coup? Macron’s Win With Narrow Support Base Means Defeat for Democracy

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    Emmanuel Macron's ascent to power in France is a victory for the oligarchy and and a big loss for democracy, analysts told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Macron’s election victory this week was a grave setback for democracy in France as the globalizing policies he championed were supported by only a quarter of the electorate

    "Some have called this a 'soft coup'. They mightn't be far wrong," historian and international affairs commentator Matthew Dal Santo said.

    Macron's victory had been celebrated by liberals and globalizers as the defeat of populism and the return of centrism in French and European politics, but the results of the election showed a different story, Dal Santo pointed out.

    "It's important not to lose sight how narrow Macron's base really is: Perhaps a quarter of French voters actually support his Obama-esque, liberal, globalist agenda… In the first round some two thirds cast their ballots for candidates in open rebellion against [free trade and open borders]," he said.

    Those who voted for conservative Francois Fillon, nationalist and populist Marine Le Pen and Left Party candidate Jean-Luc Melanchon had all supported a return to France's venerable tradition of strategic independence, Dal Santo recalled.

    Voters for Fillon, Le Pen and Melanchon had all supported "a degree of distance from Washington and a rapprochement with Moscow. They won't get it," he said.

    Dal Santo said the result of the election had frustrated the democratically expressed will of the French people.

    "The emptying of democracy doesn't, however, stop there. Ironically, under Macron France seems set to get what a majority voters voted against when in a 2005 referendum they received their last chance to vote on it: further European integration," he said.

    Macron’s victory would lead to a radical weakening of the institutions of the French Fifth Republic, Dal Santo predicted.

    It would lead to "the hollowing out through the transfer of a range of fiscal powers to Brussels of the Republic as an authentic community of political action," he said.

    University of Louvain Professor Jean Bricmont, a philosopher and author agreed that the French establishment had triumphed over popular sentiments with Macron’s victory.

    "It is certainly a victory for the oligarchy, for the mass media and the communication industry."

    Macron had been packaged and presented to the French people as an outsider challenging the nation’s establishment while all along he had been supported by it, Bricmont pointed out.

    "Macron has been promoted by the media about a year ago as an alternative to the system, while he got the support of all of what one might call the real system: the big corporations, the mainstream media [and] many intellectuals," he said.

    Macron’s policies would be similar to those Hillary Clinton would have followed had she been elected US president in 2016, Bricmont suggested.

    "Macron’s victory is Hillary on steroid… [H]e is very pro-European and pro-Atlanticist," he said.

    However, if US President Donald Trump refused to support Macron’s aggressive policies, the damage from his election would be limited, Bricmont advised.

    Results of the French Presidential Election
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    Results of the French Presidential Election
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    Macron Wins French Presidential Election (53)

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