France’s Macron meets supporters ahead of inauguration
French president-elect Emmanuel Macron met party supporters Saturday on the eve of his inauguration and told candidates contesting key parliamentary elections next month that they had an “immense responsibility”.
The 39-year-old, who beat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in a second round vote last week, was received “triumphantly” according to tweets by those attending the meeting.
“You are the new faces of French politics,” they quoted him as saying. “You have an immense responsibility.”
Macron has promised to refresh France’s parliament and his party — La Republique En Marche (REM, Republic on the Move) — unveiled 428 out of its 577 candidates this week.
Half of them have never held elected office, including a retired female bullfighter and a star mathematician, and half of them are women.
The pro-Europe centrist had pledged to bring about a “revolution” in French politics that will inject fresh faces into the stale political landscape and end the pattern of power alternating between traditional parties.
A former economy minister to outgoing President Francois Hollande, Macron is due to take oath on Sunday morning in a ceremony that starts at 10:00 am (0800 GMT).
Around 1,500 police officers will be deployed near the presidential palace located in the heart of Paris and the nearby Champs Elysees and other roads will be blocked off.
Macron won after one of the most unpredictable elections in modern history marked by scandal, repeated surprises and a last-minute hacking attack on his campaign.
Hundreds of thousands of emails and documents stolen from his campaign were dumped online, leading Macron to call it an attempt at “democratic destabilisation”.
The election saw voters eject establishment figures, including one-time conservative favourite Francois Fillon.
Unpopular Hollande was the first to bow to the rebellious mood in December as he became the first sitting president not to seek re-election in the French fifth republic, founded in 1958.
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