PARIS The main parties in France rallied to centrist Emmanuel Macron, although this newcomer contributed to their failure in the first round of the presidential election. They hope that it will block the entrance to the Elysee Palace of extreme right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen, who announced Monday that she temporarily withdrew from the leadership of the FN.
Support for Mr Macron increased on Monday, the day after the first round, from the European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Jewish and Muslim groups troubled by the anti-immigration vision of Mrs Le Pen .
The polls put Mr. Macron as a favorite in his duel against Ms. Le Pen in the second round, in 15 days. However, there is no guarantee that the French will get together to block Ms. Le Pen in the same way they did against her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, during the 2002 presidential election.
In a solemn speech at the Elysee Palace, French President François Hollande announced that he would vote for his former Minister of Economy, Mr Macron, as he said that Mrs Le Pen represented “the danger of isolation Of France, but also of the rupture with the European Union “.
Meanwhile, Le Pen hopes to secure the support of voters opposed to her party, the National Front (FN), long associated with racism and anti-Semitism.
On Monday, she made a decision in this direction, announcing that she was temporarily withdrawing from the leadership of the FN, to offer in principle an independent candidacy in the second round of the presidential election on May 7.
“This evening, I am no longer the president of the FN, I am the presidential candidate,” she declared on public television, adding that she wanted to be “above partisan considerations”.
FN officials have argued that a vote for Marine Le Pen would be a natural gesture for voters who have had enough of the status quo.
Mrs. Le Pen was quick to open hostilities on Monday against Mr. Macron, speaking of a “radical and hysterical Europeanist”, favorable to a total opening of borders and a denier of French culture.
The director of the Grand Mosque in Paris, Dalil Boukabeur, asked the 5 million Muslims in France to vote for Mr Macron, whose victory in the first round was welcomed by the President of the European Parliament, the President of the Commission And the German Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The final results of the first round show that Mr. Macron has obtained close to one million votes more than Mrs. Le Pen. The newcomer at the head of the Movement movement received 8.66 million votes, or 24.01% of the votes, while the president of the National Front and daughter of its founder collected 7.68 million votes, or 21 , 30% of the vote, according to figures published by the Ministry of Interior.
For Le Pen, it is the best result obtained by a candidate of the National Front in a presidential election.
The candidate of the traditional right, François Fillon, obtained 20.01% of the votes, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, representative of the radical left, collected 19.58%. As for Benoît Hamon, of the Socialist Party, he came in fifth place, with 6.36% of the vote.
The turnout was 77.77%, the lowest in a French presidential election in 15 years.