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27 June, 2022
 
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Macron to face far-right leader Marine Le Pen in runoff

Le Pen’s strong performance demonstrated the enduring appeal of nationalist and xenophobic currents in Europe

Source: The New York Times

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, will face Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader, in the runoff of France’s presidential elections.

With 97 percent of the ballots cast yesterday counted, Macron led with about 27.6 percent of the vote to Le Pen’s 23.4 percent. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leftist anti-NATO candidate, followed with about 22 percent.

With war raging in Ukraine and Western unity likely to be tested as the fighting continues, Le Pen’s strong performance demonstrated the enduring appeal of nationalist and xenophobic currents in Europe. But Macron is the slight favorite for the next and final round, having fared a little better than the latest opinion polls suggested.

On April 24, French voters will vote again. Over the next two weeks, the candidates will confront each other over the future of France, at a time when Britain’s exit from the E.U. and the end of Angela Merkel’s long chancellorship in Germany have placed a particular onus on French leadership in Europe.

Optimism: “I will restore France to order in five years,” Le Pen declared to cheering supporters, appealing to all French people to join her in what she called “a choice of civilization” in which the “legitimate preponderance of French language and culture” would be guaranteed and full “sovereignty re-established in all domains.”

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