Global leaders wish Emmanuel Macron on victory

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French centrist Emmanuel Macron has already achieved an enormous task: A former outsider with little political experience, he is now the front-runner in France's presidential race, banking on a promise to revive the country through radical pro-business measures and pro-European policies.

Hillary Clinton, who lost last year´s election to Trump, tweeted, "Victory for Macron, for France, the European Union, & the world".

"I know the divisions of our nation that led some to extreme votes".

"I will work to recreate the link between Europe and its peoples, between Europe and citizens".

Fifteen years ago, few thought that Jean-Marie Le Pen stood any chance of entering the second round of the French presidential election.

But any idea of a courageous new political dawn will be tempered by an abstention rate on Sunday of around 25 percent, the highest this century, and by a record share of blank or spoiled ballots by more than 11 percent of those who did vote.

Pollsters' projections gave Macron a winning margin of around 65 percent to 35 - a gap wider than the 20 or so percentage points that pre-election surveys had suggested.

At the European level, in the context of Brexit and the rise of radical right populism, France should play a leading role in ensuring that the European Union's founding values of "respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law" are a priority of EU policy and hold member governments to account when they flout those values. Shortly after polls closed, Le Pen spoke to supporters, pledging a "profound reform" of her party, the National Front, in an effort to create "a new political force". On Fox News, analysts compared Le Pen's campaign to president Trump's - but obviously, it wasn't as successful.

Marine Le Pen's performance maintained her record of improving the National Front's score in every election since she became leader in 2011. The elder Le Pen, in that instance, managed...

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She has worked for years to soften the xenophobic associations that clung to the National Front under her father, going so far as to expel him from the party he founded.

Macron is expected to be sworn in within days, succeeding current French President Francois Hollande.

Macron will face his first obstacle in a month when France again goes to the polls for its parliamentary elections.

The 39-year-old centrist's amalgam of positions holds the potential for radically reshaping the angry, polarized, stalled politics of troubled democracies like the U.S., Britain and France.

Marine Le Pen's victory in the May elections would have influenced the balance of powers in the Middle East and add weight to Russian Federation and Iran's support for maintaining Bashar Al Assad in power, as evidenced by Le Pen's recent declaration that Al Assad is a safer option for Syrians than Islamist movements.

Hollande released a statement via Twitter, saying that he had called Macron to congratulate him and "expressed all my best wishes for the success of our country".

He will be the youngest leader in the current Group of Seven major nations and has elicited comparisons with youthful leaders past and present, from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to British ex-premier Tony Blair and even the late USA president John F. Kennedy.

He's also been surprisingly unique among Western leaders in denouncing Russia's thuggish leadership.

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