Russian President Vladimir Putin sent France's President-elect Emmanuel Macron a telegram to congratulate him on his election victory and told him Russia was ready for constructive work on bilateral and global issues, the Kremlin said on Monday.
"The citizens of France have trusted you with leading the country at a difficult time for Europe and the whole world community. The growth in threats of terrorism and militant extremism is accompanied by an escalation of local conflicts and the destabilization of whole regions," the telegram to Macron read, according to the Kremlin.
In the first hours after Emmanuel Macron's decisive election victory in France, leading U.S. politicians in Washington reacted to the results and tried to relate them to political discussion taking place in their own country. Macron was greeted by both Republicans and Democrats, but the contents of their greetings were far from identical.
One of the first to congratulate Macron was President Donald Trump, who tweeted on his personal account - "Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him!" Shortly afterwards, the White House released a short official statement, attributed to Press Secretary Sean Spicer, which sent a similar message.
Even Hillary Clinton commented, calling it a victory against invervention... (Amir Tibon) Read full story
The stirring first lines of La Marseillaise Allons enfants de la Patrie, Le jour de gloire est arrivé! – Arise, children of the Fatherland, The day of glory has arrived! - rang out loud and clear throughout France, Europe and the world on Sunday night. Before one gets immersed in the dissection of Emmanuel Macrons tremendous victory and Marine Le Pens humiliating defeat in the French elections – and of the difficulties that lay ahead – raise a glass of Champagne exceptionnel or Burgundy merviellieux or Bordeaux fantastique as you toast French voters and their day of glory. They struck a mighty blow for Liberté, égalité, fraternité, for themselves and for the rest of us, and they did so just in the nick of time. Vive La France.
Macrons margin of victory may have been smaller than Jacques Chiracs 82%-18% second-round blowout in 2002 of Le Pens father, Jean Marie, but it was nonetheless bigger than ones best hopes and far more massive than ones worst fears. His was a resounding victory, clear-cut, unequivocal, not open to interpretation. Its true that over a third of French voters opted for a racist, xenophobic, proto-Fascist candidate, and thats a scary thought. But close to two-thirds preferred to trust a rational and moderate liberal middle-of-the-roader. That might have seemed ho-hum not long ago, but these days, its a cause for celebration. Read Chemi Shalev's full analysis
With more than 44 million of France's 47 million registered voters accounted for, official Interior Ministry figures on Sunday confirmed independent centrist Emmanuel Macron had been elected president with 65.31 percent of valid votes cast so far.
About 12.5 percent of votes cast were either blank or spoiled, the official figures showed, while 24.7 percent of the voters accounted for did not show up to vote. (Reuters)
Clients and personnel of Frances best known and archrival kosher falafel restaurants cheered together when they discovered Emmanuel Macron was elected president.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Yeeees! shouted people in the Mi-Va-Mi restaurant while watching the giant screen set up on top of the Ace of Falafels front entrance, across the narrow street. More than 65%! said personnel members, a mix of waitresses and cooks of Jewish and foreign descent, comforted by Macrons higher-than-expected result.
In Pariss historic Jewish quarter Rosiers St. most people seemed relieved although not thrilled. (Shirli Sitbon) Read full report
Stop talking terrorism and four other lessons Macron can teach politicians everywhere
He portrayed patriotism as holding fast and not showing weakness by changing laws or cultural norms
Emmanuel Macrons victory was achieved with exhaustive, old-school field work, but also by following five rules that politicians the world over could learn from.
1. Dont be afraid to condescend to the voters
2. Stop talking terrorism
Le Pen lost French election, but battle against populism is far from over
If polls can be trusted, and these days thats quite an ask, European extremists are set for a few more defeats. In Britains June 8 election, the money is on the near-elimination of the far-right United Kingdom Independence Party and a major defeat for Labour under its far-left leader Jeremy Corbyn. And in September, the mother of Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, seems set for reelection. The far-right Alternative for Germany is unlikely to break the 10-percent barrier.
None of this means European liberals can return to their pre-Brexit complacency, however. Read full analysis by Anshel Pfeffer
French President-elect Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday he would work to heal the deep divisions in France that led to large scores for far-right and far-left parties and would seek to bring European institutions closer to the peoples of Europe.
"I know the divisions in our nation, which led some to vote for extremist parties. I respect them," Macron said in a solemn address at his campaign headquarters after winning the presidency.
"I will work to recreate the link between Europe and its peoples, between Europe and citizens," he said.
U.S President Donald Trump on Sunday congratulated Emmanuel Macron on winning the French presidency election and added he was looking forward to working with him.
"Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him!" Trump said on his official Twitter feed. (Reuters)
President-elect Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday a new era in French history was beginning, as the 39-year old pro-EU centrist becomes the country's youngest head of state since Napoleon.
"A new page in our long history has turned tonight," Macron said in a statement to Reuters. "I want it to be that of rediscovery of hope and trust."
France's far-right National Front must be relaunched, Marine Le Pen said on Sunday after conceding defeat to centrist Emmanuel Macron in France's presidential election.
"The National Front ... must deeply renew itself in order to rise to the historic opportunity and meet the French people's expectations," Le Pen said in a brief address to supporters shortly after initial projections were released.
"I will propose to start this deep transformation of our movement in order to make a new political force," she added.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his election on Sunday to the French presidency, saying his win was a victory for a united Europe.
"Congratulations Emmanuel Macron. Your victory is a victory for a strong united Europe and for the Franco-German friendship," Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said in tweets in German and French.
British Prime Minister Theresa May also congratulated Macron on his success in the election, an emailed statement from May's office said.
"The Prime Minister warmly congratulates President-elect Macron on his election success. France is one of our closest allies, and we look forward to working with the new president on a wide range of shared priorities," the statement said.
Dutch right-wing populist Geert Wilders has congratulated Marine Le Pen of the National Front despite her defeat in the French presidential elections.
"Well done anyway ... millions of patriots voted for you! You will win next time - and so will I!" Wilders wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni tweeted: "Hurrah Macron President! There is hope for Europe!"
Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, congratulated Macron, saying he was very pleased that the president-elect defended a strong and progressive Europe.
"I am delighted that the ideas you defended of a strong and progressive Europe, which protects all its citizens, will be those that you will carry into your presidency in the debate about the history of Europe," Juncker said in a letter.
He said the Commission, which is the European Union's executive arm, was also seeking to build a better Europe and expected to work together with Paris on that.
"The European Commision has been working for two and half years to build a better Europe, a Europe which protects and defends our citizens and gives them the means to react," Juncker said in the latter of congratulations to Macron.
"You know my determination to follow this agenda until the end of my term. I have full confidence that our collaboration will be very fruitful and will allow us to further our common goals together," he said. (Reuters, DPA)
The National Front's Marine Le Pen says she called her rival Emmanuel Macron to concede and congratulate him on his victory in the French presidential election.
Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France on Sunday with a business-friendly vision of European integration, defeating Marine Le Pen, a far-right nationalist who threatened to take France out of the European Union, early projections showed.
The centrist's emphatic victory, which also smashed the dominance of Frances mainstream parties, will bring huge relief to European allies who had feared another populist upheaval to follow Britain's vote to quit the EU and Donald Trump's election as U.S. president.
The 39-year-old former investment banker, who served for two years as economy minister but has never previously held elected office, will now become France's youngest leader since Napoleon with a promise to transcend outdated left-right divisions.
Three projections, issued within minutes of polling stations closing at 8 P.M. local time, showed Macron beating Le Pen by around 65 percent to 35 - a gap wider than the 20 or so percentage points that pre-election surveys had pointed to.
Even so, it was a record performance for the National Front, a party whose anti-immigrant policies until recently made it a pariah in French politics, and underlined the scale of the divisions that he must try to heal.
Le Pen's high-spending, anti-globalization 'France-first' policies may have unnerved financial markets but they appealed to many poorer members of society against a background of high unemployment, social tensions and security concerns.
The 48-year-old's share of the vote was set to be almost twice that won by her father Jean-Marie, the last National Front candidate to qualify for a presidential runoff, who was trounced by Jacques Chirac in 2002.
Macron's immediate challenge will be to secure a majority in next month's parliamentary election for En Marche! (Onwards!), his political movement that is barely a year old, in order to implement his program.
However, at least one opinion poll published in the run-up to the second round has indicated that this could be within reach. (Reuters)
Turnout figures for the second round of the French presidential election showed a 65.30 percent participation rate by around 5 P.M. local time (6 P.M. Israel time), the Interior Ministry said on Sunday, confirming earlier reports.
That level was lower than at the same stage of polling day in the past three presidential elections.
Those participation rate figures compared with a turnout of around 72 percent at the same time in 2012, a 75.1 percent turnout in 2007, and a 67.6 percent turnout in 2002.
Voter surveys show that it is unclear what the turnout rate could mean for the outcome. (Reuters)
Exit polls put centrist Emmanuel Macron ahead of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election's second round, Belgian public broadcaster RTBF reported.
According to leaked polling data, Macron is ahead with 62 to 64 percent of the vote, said RTBF.
Belgium's leading newspaper "Le Soir" also produced similar results, citing four companies that are conducting the exit polls in France. The paper predicts Macron winning the election with over 60 percent of the vote. (Shlomo Papirblat)
Midday turnout figures from the Interior Ministry said 28.23 percent of voters had turned out so far, the lowest at this stage of the day since the 2002 presidential poll, when it was 26.19 percent. Turnouts at midday in 2012 and 2007 were 30.66 percent and 34.11 percent respectively.
Highest turnout registered in Le Pen strongholds - The Alps, Provence, Aude and Haute-Marne – where Macron got 18% of the vote compared to Le Pen's 28% on the first round.
In Provence, turnout by 12 PM was 35% of registered voters, compared with the 28% national average.
A poll on Friday had predicted a final turnout of 75 percent this time. The eventual turnouts in 2002, 2007 and 2012 were all above 80 percent. (Dov Alfon)
Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has cast her ballot in Henin-Beaumont, a small northern town controlled by her National Front party.
Le Pen arrived at the polling station with Henin-Beaumont Mayor Steeve Briois, who took over as the National Front's leader during the presidential election campaign.
She was able to vote without any incident after feminist activists were briefly detained a couple of hours earlier Sunday for hanging a big anti-Le Pen banner from a church.
Polls suggest centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron is favored to beat Le Pen in Sunday's runoff election.
While Le Pen has worked hard to rid her nationalistic party of its xenophobic image, she has campaigned on an anti-immigration, anti-EU platform. (AP)
Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, the front-runner in France's presidential election, has voted in the coastal town of Le Touquet in northern France alongside his wife, Brigitte Macron.
The former Socialist economy minister and one-time banker was all smiles and petted a black dog as he stepped out of his vacation home in the seaside resort.
For security reasons, Macron was driven to his nearby polling station at Le Touquet City Hall and shook hands with a large crowd of supporters before he and his wife entered the building.
Macron had a large polling lead over far-right leader Marine Le Pen going into Sunday's presidential runoff election. (AP)
"At a campaign rally for Marine Le Pen, I saw the true and toxic face of her appeal: The same identitarian tattoos still visible on the same shaved heads, the same conspiratorial mutters about immigrants, 9/11, dark financial elites who really control the world. It's an experience I suggest for those commentators suggesting that Jews in France, Israel and elsewhere should give a sympathetic hearing to the newly sanitized, allegedly 'post-fascist' National Front candidate and her party. " (Ido Vock)
"The constitution of the Fifth Republic, established by General de Gaulle in 1958, even includes a clause (Article 16) that gives the President emergency powers to immediately interrupt the countrys democratic governance for as long as he or she sees fit and necessary.
Given that there is every chance that the country will collapse into violent chaos in the immediate aftermath of a win by Marine Le Pen, there is little reason to suppose that she wouldnt at some point invoke it in the name of security or anti-terrorism. Given that 50% of the military and the police support the National Front, the country could effectively become a police state overnight." (Natasha Lehrer)
Turnout in the second round of French presidential elections are historically high, roughly 80 percent. But this election falls on a long weekend due to Victory Day and bad weather is further expected with heavy rains forecast over Macron strongholds (Paris and Western France) and amazing sunshine over areas considered favorable to Le Pen (the Alps and the Riviera).
An additional complication is the rising popularity of the "blanc" vote – the empty ballot. These votes, like disqualified votes, are not counted in the final tally but are factored into the voter turnout, inflating the stats. If turnout seems high during election day, many Macron voters might decide to stay home, misreading the turnout and missing the fact that it conceals a low turnout that actually helps Le Pen. (Dov Alfon)
Polls opened in France for the second round of presidential election at 8 A.M. local time on Sunday.
Some 47 million French voters are expected to choose between centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-rightist Marine Le Pen, two candidates who are near polar opposites in their worldviews. (Haaretz and Reuters)
Not all young people have lost their reason. My own teenage kids were out at the weekend to deface Le Pen posters with witty graffiti. They have been debating the issues with their friends, cousins and fellow students, many of whom, like them, have lived or have family abroad. This may be why theyre open to Macron and his outward-looking, optimistic attitude to both Europe and globalization. My children are proud Europeans, holding British and French nationalities, aware of how fortunate they are, disappointed in Brexit, disgusted by Le Pen. They are what I hope the future looks like. They are the reason I hope and pray that wisdom will prevail on Sunday. (Natasha Lehrer)
The online dump of 9 gigabytes of emails and other data stolen from the computers of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, most likely by a hackers collective that has links to Russian intelligence, and quickly trumpeted online by American "alt-right" Twitter accounts, along with an army of pro-Kremlin bots, was hardly surprising. The Macron campaign detected months ago Russian attempts to break in to its computer systems, and the pattern of using Kremlin-friendly hackers and online groups to harm western candidates seen by Russias leadership as hostile, is already well-established from last years American elections and elsewhere. (Anshel Pfeffer)
Were trying to persuade people to vote for Macron or not vote at all. Each one of us addresses his congregation, a French Imam told Haaretz, admitting that he's worried about what will happen after the election.
There could be some sort of revenge against Muslims from far-right groups angered by radicalism and all the terror attacks France has faced. For me, the best way to fight this trend is for all of us to remain united, he said. (Shirli Sitbon)