Marine Le Pen's Niece Should Take Over FN Leadership - French Lawmaker

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The French Interior Ministry said with 93 per cent of the votes counted, Macron had about 19.3 million votes, while Ms Le Pen secured about 10.4 million.

PARIS French President-elect Emmanuel Macron laid the groundwork Monday 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.

There is scepticism however about Macron's ability to win a majority with En Marche candidates, meaning he might have to form a coalition.

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The scant coverage from mostly French-language media estimated that the demonstrators calling for Macron's resignation numbered in the thousands. U.S. President Donald Trump called to congratulate Macron, while on the Kremlin website, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Macron to "overcome mutual mistrust and unite to ensure worldwide stability and security". "Everything starts right now", Kalifat, who has lobbied intensively in favor of Macron in recent days, wrote optimistically on Twitter.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, told Macron: "I am delighted that the ideas you defended of a strong and progressive Europe, which protects all its citizens, will be those that you will carry into your presidency". He also wrote in a statement that the result was "a victory against hate and extremism" by the French people. This, he said, is part of a "worrying political landscape in Europe and the increase in far-right rhetoric which has swept the continent". Citing dismal approval ratings, he had withdrawn from the presidential race to better the chances of his party to remain in power.

The president-elect will officially take over from his former boss on Sunday as France's youngest-ever president. A believer in free-market economy, he is calling for an economic reform opposed by labor unions and advocates of France's relatively generous welfare amenities. But a high number of blank or spoiled votes and unusually low turnout are signs of an electorate dissatisfied with its choices.

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"I wish him and all the people of France the greatest success", Merkel added.

French voters have traditionally rallied around the newly elected president in the general election held weeks later.

Merkel told Macron that she is "looking forward to trustful cooperation ... in the spirit of the traditionally close Franco-German friendship", Seibert said.

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In this May 8 photo, then-FBI Director James Comey speaks to the Anti-Defamation League National Leadership Summit in Washington. He dismissed outrage over Trump's disclosures as United States politicians whipping up "anti-Russian sentiment".

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