Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Icon signs biography of French president-elect Macron

Icon signs biography of French president-elect Macron

Incoming French president Emmanuel Macron was starting to build his centrist government Tuesday, with his former Socialist boss jockeying for position in a radically changed political landscape.

He will also become the first president from outside the two traditional main parties since the modern republics foundation in 1958.

Macron will officially take over from French President Francois Hollande next Sunday, but an exact date for the meeting between the new president and Merkel has not been set.

While some world leaders such as British Prime Minister Theresa May, US President Donald Trump (though he had earlier backed Le Pen) and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping extended their congratulations to Macron nearly immediately, one of the most interesting well wishes came on Monday morning from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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"China stands ready to work with France to move the strategic Sino-French partnership to a higher level", Xi said in a congratulatory note, according to the Chinese foreign ministry.

Pro-European centrist Macron promised to heal France's divisions after crushing far-right leader Marine Le Pen in a pivotal presidential election that has given him a large but fragile mandate for change.

The euro, which had risen Sunday night in the wake of the news of Macron's victory, edged back down 0.5 percent to $1.0943.

But Putin sent his congratulations to Macron in a telegram and called for a renewal of trust between the countries.

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A senior official at a major Japanese automaker also welcomed Macron's victory, which means that France, a key member of the European Union, will maintain its pro-EU stance.

Le Pen says the 10.6 million votes she won on Sunday will make her party the leading opposition. In interviews on 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 Japanese government had been wary that Macron's far-right rival Marine Le Pen would win the election.

There is scepticism about Macron's ability to win a majority with candidates from his En Marche movement - "neither of the left, nor right" - alone, meaning he might have to form a coalition. Sylvie Goulard, a French deputy to the European Parliament, said Macron would make Berlin his first official visit, with perhaps a stop to see French troops stationed overseas as well.

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