Macron promises new approach at second term inauguration

  • Macron sworn in for a second presidential term
  • Warns of environmental threats and conflict in Ukraine
  • Rivals launch campaigns for June parliamentary vote

PARIS, May 7 (Reuters) – Frenchman Emmanuel Macron was sworn in for his second presidential term on Saturday, promising to lead the country with a “new method” as his political rivals begin campaigning for legislative elections next month.

In a country where presidents are rarely re-elected, Macron won 58.5% of the vote in the second round against far-right Marine Le Pen, despite strong opposition to his pro-business policies and a proposed raising of the age. of retirement.

In a brief speech, Macron spoke of the need to innovate at a time of unprecedented challenges for the world and for France, and said his second term would be “new” and not simply a continuation of his first five years in office. able.

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“We must invent together a new method, far from traditions and tired routines, with which we can build a new productive, social and ecological contract,” he said, promising to act with “respect” and “consideration. “.

He did not present new policy proposals, but pointed to the threat posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the global environmental crisis.

Among the 500 guests present were former presidents François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, former prime ministers Edouard Philippe, Manuel Valls, Alain Juppé and Jean-Pierre Raffarin, as well as religious leaders and other state figures.

Hollande, who backed Macron in the April 24 runoff vote, told reporters after the ceremony that Macron could not afford to replicate “yesterday’s methods”.

“What we have noticed in this election is that there are more citizens (who voted) out of rejection than out of hope,” Hollande said.

Macron’s inauguration marked the start of the campaign for the June 12-19 parliamentary vote.

A newly united political left – a coalition formed between the Socialist Party of Holland, the far-left party La France Insoumise (France Insoumise), the Greens and the Communist Party – hopes to deprive Macron of a majority in parliament.

Under the banner of the “New Popular, Social and Ecological Union” (NUPES), the representatives of the various parties of the alliance addressed a convention in Seine-Saint-Denis, in the Paris suburbs.

“We are putting in place an act of collective resistance,” said France Insoumise leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who ran against Macron in the presidential election and is running to become prime minister.

Hollande and Sarkozy’s once-dominant parties – the Socialists on the left and the Republicans on the right – have been severely weakened in recent years, in part due to the rise of Macron’s political movement.

As the Socialists joined the left-wing alliance, Les Républicains launched their campaign by excluding pacts with all major parties, including the far right.

“The Republicans are independent and cannot be absorbed by the presidential majority, nor by the extremes,” party president Christian Jacob told reporters during a national council.

Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN) was absent from the political scene on Saturday. Le Pen herself is resting in the countryside and will be back early next week, her campaign team said.

Macron is due to visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Monday for “Europe Day” and meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on the same day.

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Reporting by Layli Foroudi Editing by Helen Popper

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