Interview: Expert says Macron's victory to shape new France

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-08 19:54:18|Editor: Tian Shaohui


Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech in front of the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, on May 7, 2017. Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron won Sunday's runoff vote of the French presidential election, defeating his far-right rival Marine Le Pen, according to polling agency projections issued after the vote. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)

PARIS, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The victory of Emmanuel Macron, who won France's presidential election on Sunday, will shape a new France, said Madani Cheurfa, secretary general of the Political Research Center of Paris Institute of Political Studies (CEVIPOF).

"A new France is taking shape, a new cycle begins ...," Cheurfa said in an interview with Xinhua on Sunday after the preliminary results showed Macron would be France's new president.

Cheurfa noted that Macron's victory was "optimistic but without triumphalism."

He attributed Macron's win to many factors, including the presence of the far right in the second round of the presidential election as France remains mobilized against this party.

Cheurfa said Macron won due to "historic" chances and "boldness," adding Macron has also shown his personal talent, notably in the debate between the two rounds.

The Paris-based CEVIPOF chief said that Macron "had enough calmness and self-control" to resist his rival Marine Le Pen.

As for the impact of Macron's victory on the European financial markets, Cheurfa expected "a renewed confidence" as seen in the first round of the election, when "the Paris stock exchange had then risen by 4 to 5 points."

He said that Macron gives the image of an "international president who for the first time speaks very good English" and his careers as a former economy minister and investment banker give him a "business-compatible" profile.

Macron was not against the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union (EU), and the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), a proposal to create a free trade agreement covering Europe and North America.

This stance makes Macron fully endorse free trade and globalization, which would give France more opportunities.

Speaking about the parliamentary election, Cheurfa expressed cautious optimism about the prospects of the legislative contest to be held on June 11-18.

"The state of the electoral offer is not yet known. Macron announced that he would give the name of his Prime Minister before the legislative elections, which will bring much more clarification on the strategy of the new head of government and on his ability to negotiate, to gather," he said.

"The number of lawmakers will depend on the stability and effectiveness of Macron's governance," he added.

Macron was an advisor to Francois Hollande during his election campaign and later became Hollande's economy minister in 2014.

In April 2016, he launched a new political movement, "En Marche!" ("On the Move!"), in his hometown of Amiens. Four months later, he resigned from the government and in November 2016 officially declared his bid for the presidency.

If Macron's movement won't enjoy a majority with more than 289 seats out of 577, the prime minister should have "negotiation talent" and has to advocate for "openness" to bring together ministers "from the center, center-right and left center," the expert said.

If the conservative Republican lawmakers headed by Francois Baroin get a majority, there would then be a risk of cohabitation, and the question of an alliance with other deputies would present itself, Cheurfa added.

He noted a difference between presidential and parliamentary voting systems in France.

"In legislative elections, we can have cases of triangular or even quadrangular (competitions with three or four candidates) and we can find the National Front achieving a very high score in the first round but not elected in the second round," he said.

Centrist Macron has won the French presidential election, defeating his far-right rival Le Pen from the National Front party in Sunday's runoff vote, making him the country's youngest president in the country's modern history, according to general results published by the French Interior Ministry on Monday.

Cheurfa said that "the second challenge" for Le Pen is "to form a group of deputies," but "there will be necessarily a period of turbulence within the National Front to contest the leadership of Marine Le Pen," he said.