Emmanuel Macron to be youngest French president, Le Pen concedes defeat

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SPK International News Desk :  Pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron won France’s landmark presidential election, first estimates showed on Sunday, heading off a fierce challenge from the far-right in a pivotal vote for the future of the divided country and Europe.

Far-right National Front must be relaunched, Marine Le Pen said after conceding defeat to centrist Macron.

In a short statement, Le Pen said she had called Macron to wish him “success” in tackling the “huge challenges” he faced and announced that she would lead the FN into June’s legislative elections.

Macron said his victory in Sunday’s election represented “hope” and a “new chapter” for France.

The victory caps an extraordinary rise for the 39-year-old former investment banker, who will become the country’s youngest-ever leader.

He has promised to heal a fractured and demoralised country after a vicious campaign that has exposed deep economic and social divisions, as well as tensions around identity and immigration.

Initial estimates showed Macron winning between 65.5% and 66.1% of ballots ahead of Le Pen on between 33.9% and 34.5%.

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