Macron to Face Le Pen in French Election Runoff

French leader Emmanuel Macron and challenger Marine Le Pen qualified for what promises to be a very tightly fought presidential election runoff on April 24, pitting a pro-European economic liberal against a far-right nationalist.

With 96 percent of the votes counted for Sunday’s first round, Macron garnered 27.41 percent of the votes and Le Pen 24.03 percent.

In face of the results, other major candidates admitted defeat, and except for another far-right candidate, Eric Zemmour, they all urged voters to block the far-right in the second round.

But after five years in power in which his abrasive style has upset many, while Le Pen succeeded in softening her image, Macron will have to fight hard to win back disgruntled voters. He cannot take it for granted that voters will rally around a traditional anti-far right front.

“Nothing is decided, and the battle we will wage in the next 15 days will be decisive for France and Europe,” Macron told supporters, urging all voters to rally behind him on April 24th to stop the far-right from ruling the European Union’s second-largest economy, according to AlJazeera.

Pollsters predicted a very tight runoff, with 51 percent for Macron and 49 percent for Le Pen.

(Walta)

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