New Delhi: French President Emmanuel Macron defeated his far-right rival Marine Le Pen on Sunday by a comfortable margin, securing a second term and heading off what would have been a political earthquake.
Notably, Macron has become the first French President in 20 years to win a second term after an official vote projection suggested he has seen off the challenge from Marine Le Pen, international media said.
Five years back, Mr Macron won a sweeping victory to become France’s youngest President at 39. The margin, this time is smaller, though.
Only two French presidents before Macron secured a second term in France to date.
In the run-up to the polls, Macron focussed on his international leadership of Ukraine and the ensuing Western sanctions that have exacerbated a surge in fuel prices. On the other hand, Le Pen’s campaign homed in on the rising cost of living as the incumbent’s weak point.
She promised sharp cuts to the fuel tax, a zero per cent sales tax on essential items from pasta to diapers and income exemptions for young workers, and a “French first” stance on jobs and welfare.
Macron campaigned her past admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin as showing she could not be trusted on the world stage.