French elections a runoff between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron

Le Pen and Macron will battle for the French presidency

The two candidates that will square off in round two of the French presidential elections will feature Marie Le Pen, a far right, nationalist who has caused controversy with her brash style of campaigning and Emmanuel Macron, an outsider, a political novice, who is more of a moderate that came home with more votes than any of the other 11 candidates.

Marcon won 22.2 to Le Pen’s 21. 4 percent of the vote. But most political analysts feel that in the end it will be Marcon who is the next president of France when the May 7th runoff takes place.

For the first time in the nearly 59 year’s that the Fifth Republic of France’s government has not included candidates from the two traditional party’s. Neither Marcon or LePen represent France’s far-left or far-right party structure.

Most of the party’s who lost in yesterday’s national election are falling in line with Macron, warning of the dangers of a victory by Le Pen’s far-right National Front, though few analysts give her much of a chance of winning.

The French people seemed comfortable rejecting the two mainstream parties that have alternated power for decades, in favor of Le Pen and the untested Macron, who has never held elected office and who founded his own political movement just last year.

The voter turnout was 78 percent, down slightly from 79 percent in the first round of presidential voting in 2012. Despite those numbers voter turnout was higher than expected.

The election in France is very important to the stability of Europe and all over the world this is a key election.2016 was the year of the populist movement as Britain’s Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, just what kind of politician – and politics – France chooses will be of huge interest to many.

The 39-year-old Marcon, is a pro-business, candidate who is the leader of a strong, independent political movement “En Marche” (“On the Move”). To those who don’t know, he is firmly on the Left on social issues, including on the freedom to practice religion in a secular state, equality and immigration.

Meanwhile, Le Pen is a candidate that has promised all undocumented immigrants would be expelled, and immigration would be cut to 10,000 a year. She has also advocated that France break from the European Union.

Pulling France out of the union and its shared euro currency altogether would be a very drastic move. This is a very important point because it is clear that a French exit could spell death for the European Union, the euro and the whole idea of European unity after World War II. France is a founding member of the EU, and its main driver along with former rival Germany.

The election took place in the face of a very strong security force both visual way as well as behind the scenes. The French government put more than 50,000 police and gendarmes to protect polling stations. It comes just three days after a French jihadist shot dead a policeman on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

 

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.