Macron defeats Le Pen to become French president

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron has decisively won the French presidential election, defeating far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

Mr Macron won by 66.06% to 33.94% to become, at 39, the country’s youngest president.

Mr Macron will also become the first president from outside the two traditional main parties since the modern republic’s foundation in 1958.

He said that a new page was being turned in French history.

“I want it to be a page of hope and renewed trust,” he said. Macron’s supporters gathered in their thousands to celebrate outside the Louvre museum in central Paris and their new president later joined them.

In his speech to the crowd, he said: “Tonight you won, France won. Everyone told us it was impossible, but they don’t know France.”

But he repeated a number of times that the task facing him and the country was enormous.

He said: “We have the strength, the energy and the will – and we will not give in to fear.”His mention of Ms Le Pen drew loud boos, and he said he would do all he could to ensure in future there would be no reason to vote for extremism.

Security remains tight in the capital and there were reports of police firing tear gas at several hundred anti-capitalist protesters near the Ménilmontant metro in the 20th arrondissement.

What has Ms Le Pen said?

In her speech, she thanked the estimated 11 million people who had voted for her. She said the election had shown a division between “patriots and globalists” and called for the emergence of a new political force.

Ms Le Pen said her National Front party needed to renew itself and that she would start the “deep transformation of our movement”, vowing to lead it into upcoming parliamentary elections.

She also said she had wished Mr Macron success in tackling the “huge challenges” facing him.

Source: BBC