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French election: Macron & Le Pen proceed to second round

Apr 24, 2017, 8:09 AM EDT
Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !

French presidential election is headed for a close fight between centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right rival Marine Le Pen, after the two leaders progressed to the runoff on Sunday. Several political rivals are expected to rally behind Macron, who secured more than 23 percent votes and is pushing for a liberal pro-E.U. agenda.

Le Pen has centered her campaign on promises of stemming the migrant flow, clamping down on free trade and overhauling France’s relationship with Europe, writes the BBC.

According to analysts, Macron, viewed as a political newcomer, may struggle to achieve a majority in the national assembly, which could be a hurdle for him to get his policies approved in the parliament, notes Reuters. The two leaders propose a ‘radically contrasting’ economic plan for France, which trails the economy of its neighbors and has a ‘quarter of young people unemployed.’