PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the French presidential election (all times local):
Marine Le Pen lost her bid to become France’s first female chief of state, but she was unbowed. The far-right leader looked instead to the next battle: parliamentary elections next month.
Le Pen’s loss to centrist Emmanuel Macron still gave her a historic number of votes. That reflects the changing image of her once-pariah National Front party from fringe force to a political heavyweight.
Le Pen set a new challenge for herself in the weeks ahead to undertake “a profound reformation” of the movement into “a new political force.”
The National Front’s interim president says those changes include giving the party a new name.
Polish President Andrzej Duda has congratulated Emmanuel Macron for winning the French presidency on Sunday — moving beyond a French campaign that had angered Poland’s authorities.
Macron had criticized Poland’s political direction and said he would seek sanctions against Warsaw for rule-of-law violations.
Macron also suggested that Poland supported his populist opponent Marine Le Pen and said the Polish ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski belonged in a group of “regimes” that includes Vladimir Putin of Russia and Viktor Orban of Hungary.
In his letter, Duda said: “Poland and France are united by a centuries-long bond of cooperation and friendship. I am convinced that from now on we will be able to continue this good tradition.”
France’s far-right National Front party is gearing up for a name change — but not a makeover of its ideas — after its decisive loss to centrist Emmanuel Macron.
In interviews Monday, the campaign director for Marine Le Pen, David Rachline, said the party founded by her father would get a new name as bait to pull in more supporters in France. Macron won the presidency with 66 percent of votes cast for a candidate. But a high number of blank or spoiled votes and unusually low turnout are signs of an electorate dissatisfied with its choices.
Legislative elections next month will determine wither Macron can cobble together a governing majority.
Rachline said Le Pen will lead the opposition to Macron.