Macron survived Le Pen’s challenge: Now what?

By Sylvie Corbet | Associated Press

PARIS — After winning another five years in the French presidential palace, Emmanuel Macron intends to go back to work straightaway on domestic and foreign policy — but he will soon face crucial parliamentary elections where he may struggle to keep his majority.

Here’s a look at what comes next for Macron and his leadership of France.

INAUGURATION CEREMONY

The Constitutional Council will publish the presidential election’s official results on Wednesday and Macron will hold a Cabinet meeting.

Macron will then need to set a date for his inauguration ceremony, which must be held by May 13, at the Elysee Palace. He will receive the National Guards’ honors and make a speech.

Usually, 21 cannon shots are fired to mark an inauguration, although Presidents Francois Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac both skipped that tradition for their reelections in 1988 and 2002. Macron is the only other leader of modern France to win a second term at the ballot box.

MACRON’S FIRST MOVES

Like five years ago, Macron plans to quickly head to Berlin, in line with the tradition that newly elected French presidents make their first trip abroad to neighboring Germany to celebrate the countries’ friendship after multiple wars. He will meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, with efforts to try to end the war in Ukraine topping the agenda.

At some point, he may also travel to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a trip he said he would only do on condition that it would have “a useful impact.” Macron spoke to both Zelenskyy and Scholz within hours of his victory.

US President Joe Biden tried to congratulate Macron on Sunday night too, but told reporters, “I spoke to his staff and he was at the Eiffel Tower having a good time.” The two leaders spoke briefly Monday instead, and agreed to hold longer talks soon about support for Ukraine, pressure on Russia to negotiate an end to the war, food security and deepening US-EU relations, according to Macron’s office.

On May 9, Macron is expected to make a speech on Europe in Strasbourg, home to the EU parliament.

At home, he said one of his priorities will be to pass by summer a law to support purchasing power amid the surge in food and energy prices fed by the conflict in Ukraine.

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS

Prime Minister Jean Castex is expected to submit his government’s resignation in the coming days. Macron will then appoint a new caretaker government, but ministers will only be in place for a few weeks.

France’s nationwide parliamentary election, held in two rounds on June 12 and June 19, will decide who controls a majority of the 577 seats at the National Assembly. If Macron’s party wins, he will name a new government and will be able to pass laws.

If another party gets a majority of seats, he will be forced to appoint a prime minister belonging to that new majority. In such a situation, called “cohabitation” in France, the government would implement policies that diverge from Macron’s project. The French president would have sway, however, over the country’s foreign policy.

Will Weissert in Washington contributed.

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