11:51 GMT09 August 2020
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    Macron Wins French Presidential Election (53)

    Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron is likely to face major obstacles as he tries to push through his ambitious reform agenda, Professor of European Politics at the Institute of Political Studies in Lyon Alistair Cole told Radio Sputnik.

    "Macron's objectives would be difficult to realize. I think he has to move quickly from his perspective. He said that he will use the quick procedure to introduce labor reform," the analyst noted. "If he gets bogged down, if he doesn't have a powerful majority, it's going to be very difficult of course to have the basic capacity to push through these reforms."

    Macron has promised to boost France's slow economic growth, battle high unemployment and promote competitiveness by reforming the labor market and simplifying the tax and pension systems. 

    Delivering on campaign pledges will be a challenge for Macron, who heads the recently created centrist En Marche! party. The former civil servant and investment banker secured 66.1 percent of the vote (20.7 million) in the second round of the presidential election held on May 7. However, only 16 percent of those who voted for him said that they support his program, according to an opinion poll conducted by Ipsos.

    Macron will also face opposition from other parties.

    "Many on the left of French politics, particularly those people who voted for [Jean-Luc] Mélenchon, have said straight away that although they were pleased that Marine Le Pen was not elected they would robustly oppose attempts to cut the number of public servants and to bring down the debt in those proportions," Professor Cole said.

    Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the founder of the La France insoumise (FI), received more than 19 percent of the vote in the first round, coming fourth after Macron, right wing Marine Le Pen and conservative François Fillon.

    Nearly 11 million (33.9 percent) of those who took part in the second round voted for Marine Le Pen, making it the highest share that the National Front (FN) presidential hopeful has ever received. Le Pen's father, who founded the FN in 1977, received 17.79 percent in the second round of the 2002 French presidential election.

    Marine Le Pen "actually doubled the number of votes by comparison to her father 15 years ago. I think in terms of the result itself she will be a little bit disappointed. The polls were putting her on 40 percent until the televised debate last Wednesday. In terms of the future, she clearly made a strong stake in her speech to head in a way the opposition. But I think this might be wishful thinking," he said.

    France is heading toward the parliamentary elections scheduled to be held in mid-June, with 577 seats of the National Assembly up for grabs.

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    Results of the French Presidential Election
    © Sputnik /
    Results of the French Presidential Election
    Macron Wins French Presidential Election (53)


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    reforms, campaign promises, French Presidential Election 2017, Alistair Cole, Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron, France
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