Former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls wants to be Macron candidate

Posted May 20, 2017

Macron is working to obtain a majority in the lower house of parliament in June elections.

While some world leaders such as British Prime Minister Theresa May, US President Donald Trump (though he had earlier backed Le Pen) and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping extended their congratulations to Macron nearly immediately, one of the most interesting well wishes came on Monday morning from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

After his victory on Sunday night, Merkel praised the success of Macron and his independent, politically centrist En Marche! movement.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, told Macron: "I am delighted that the ideas you defended of a strong and progressive Europe, which protects all its citizens, will be those that you will carry into your presidency".

Former French prime minister Manuel Valls said Tuesday he wanted to be a candidate for newly elected president Emmanuel Macron's centrist movement in next month's legislative elections.

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Macron is scheduled to attend a series of events and ceremonies with outgoing president Francois Hollande on Monday.

Le Pen's National Front (FN) and the other election losers are all hell bent on bouncing back in the parliamentary vote.

On Monday, though, Hollande gripped Macron's arm before the two men walked side by side. It also marks decades of peace in western Europe, something Mr Macron made a cornerstone of his campaign against Ms Le Pen's brand of populism.

Sylvie Goulard, a French deputy to the European Parliament, said Macron would make Berlin, Germany, his first official visit, with perhaps a stop to see French troops stationed overseas as well.

His party chief, Richard Ferrand, said on Monday Macron's 'En Marche!' (Forward!) movement would change its name to "En Marche la Republique" or "Republic on the Move", so as to structure itself more like a traditional party.

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Macron will name his prime minister next week, but could be forced to amend his choice if the legislative elections don't go to plan.

His announcement appeared to take the president-elect's camp by surprise. In interviews on Monday her campaign director David Rachline said the party founded by her father would get a new name as bait to pull in a broader spectrum of supporters in France.

But National Front vice-president Florian Philippot said Ms Le Pen remains the "uncontested" leader of the party even after her heavy defeat.

Macron's victory is a relief for Germany, the main defender of the European Union against rising anti-establishment sentiment on the right and left of the political spectrum.

Michael Roth, Germany's deputy foreign minister, applauded Mr Macron's win but said the result was marred by the fact that 11 million people in France voted for Ms Le Pen.

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