Official results show that the abstention rate was at 28%, the highest in any presidential election run-off since 1969.
France’s incumbent president, Emmanuel Macron was reelected on Sunday, April 24, with 58.5% of the votes compared to 41.5% for his rival, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. Mr. Macron’s victory makes him the first French president in 20 years to win a second term.
M. Macron will be the first French president to win reelection since Jacques Chirac in 2002 after his predecessors Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande left office after only one term.
Thousands protest against far-right ahead of presidential run-off.
“Better a vote that stinks than a vote that kills”. In Paris and in towns and cities across France, thousands of people protested against the far-right ahead of next weekend’s presidential run-off.
“Not a single vote for Marine Le Pen!” chanted people in Lille, where several hundred demonstrators turned out. Ousted left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon repeated the phrase several times in a speech to supporters last weekend.
“We are here to say no to the far right. (…) for society, freedoms but also the climate. It would be a real regression if it came to power,” said Jean-François Julliard , Managing Director of Greenpeace France. He was one of several thousand people who protested in Paris.
One sign in Paris recalled: “2002 was no, 2022 is still no”, a reference to the “republican front” which saw millions mobilise to re-elect Jacques Chirac and keep out the far-right former “Front National” leader Jean-Marie Le Pen who had made it to the second round.
There were similar scenes in Marseille too, the city where Emmanuel Macron held a meeting on Saturday. “We are here to block the far right”, exclaimed one high school student, Medina Bayoui.
In Lyon, where the demonstrators were mostly young people, Emma, a 23-year-old student, said she was taking a stand “against the trivialisation of dangerous ideas, against racism, exclusion, potential dictatorship”.