France picks Macron
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - May 9, 2017 - 12:00am

PARIS – French president-elect Emmanuel Macron laid the groundwork yesterday for his transition to power, announcing a visit to Germany and a name change for his political movement and appearing with his predecessor at a solemn World War II commemoration.

Macron handily defeated far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s presidential runoff, and now must pull together a majority of lawmakers for his year-old political movement to run in the mid-June legislative election.

His party is changing its name to La Republique En Marche (Republic on the Move) as it prepares a list of candidates. Macron has promised that half of those candidates will be new to elected politics, as he was before his victory Sunday.

Macron won the presidency with 66 percent of votes cast for a candidate. But a high number of blank or spoiled votes and unusually low turnout are signs of an electorate dissatisfied with its choices.

Le Pen says she will lead the opposition to Macron.

In Malacañang, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the Philippines is looking forward to forging stronger ties with France under Macron’s administration.

“President Duterte extends his congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his election as president of France,” Abella said in a statement yesterday. 

“France is one of the biggest trading partners of the Philippines in the European Union, and we look forward to working with the incoming Macron administration to enhance Philippines-France bilateral relations,” he added. 

Foreign affairs spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said it is too early to state expectations with regard to the relationship between Paris and Manila under the new French leadership. 

“We expect of course strengthened Philippines-France cooperation but it is still early to tell because the elections were just wrapped up today if I’m not mistaken. We’ll wait and see,” Bolivar said.

Yesterday, a French national holiday, the president-elect joined President Francois Hollande in commemoration of the end of World War II. The holiday marks the day of the formal German defeat in World War II.


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