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France: Macron faces protests on very first day as President for second term

Large scale protests are being reported from French capital Paris after authorities declared Emmanuel Macron the winner in the 2022 Presidential election

Monday April 25, 2022 9:55 AM, ummid.com with inputs from Agencies

Paris Protest Today

Paris: Large scale protests are being reported from French capital Paris and other parts of France after authorities declared Emmanuel Macron the winner in the 2022 Presidential election.

Macron won with 58.8 per cent votes in his favour compared to 41.2 per cent for his far Right challenger, the 53-year-old Marine Le Pen.

This was the first time since Jacques Chirac of the right-of-centre Republican party in 2002, that a sitting president has been granted dual terms by French voters, whose preferences have been quite volatile in recent years.

The second and final round of the French presidential election was a straight contest between two candidates, after a first round eliminates others in the fray a fortnight earlier.

However soon after the elections results were announced, protesters thronged the Paris streets shouting slogans against Macron.

Citing social media posts, news agency Reuters reported that riot police charged and sprayed teargas on demonstrators in central Paris protesting after Macron was re-elected on Sunday.

Police sought to break up a crowd of mostly young people who had gathered in the central neighborhood of Chatelet to protest, Reuters reported citing images on Twitter.

Protest against Macron was a norm during his first term as President. The intensity of anger against him can be gauged from the fact that he was publicly slapped about a year ago when he was on a visit to the Drome region in southeast France.

Macron victory speech

Earlier, in a victory speech, a mere 90 minutes after he was projected re-elected as French President for a second term on Sunday evening, Emmanuel Macron, 44, assured those who did not vote for him:

"I am no longer the candidate of one camp, but the President of all."

On a more emotional note, on a brightly lit stage in the Place de la Republique in central Paris, his wife Brigitte with him, thousands of people as his audience and the iconic Eiffel Tower glowing in the background, Macron vowed "to heal the divisions that have been expressed in these elections, by ensuring respect for everyone, every day."

He said:

"The years to come will certainly be difficult, but they will be historic and we will have to write them, together, for the new generations."

The margin of Macron's win was narrower than five years ago, when he attracted 66 per cent of votes to the same opponent's 34 per cent.

In her concession speech, a defiant Le Pen said:

"The ideas we stand for are reaching new heights."

Certainly she had gained seven per cent on her showing five years ago.

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