Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron wins French presidential election

Posted at 2:23 PM, May 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-07 14:24:37-04

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidential election. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

France’s prime minister says that centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidential election.

Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement minutes after the last polls closed that the vote “testifies to the lucidity of the voters who rejected the deadly project of the extreme right.” He said the vote shows an embrace of the European Union.

French polling agencies have projected that Macron has defeated Marine Le Pen 65 percent to 35 percent, with a record number of blank and spoiled ballots.

The 39-year-old political novice will now serve at the helm of one of the world’s biggest economies.

Macron would be the youngest French president ever, erasing Louis Napoleon Bonaparte’s record.

Supporters of Macron are entering the courtyard outside the Louvre museum in Paris where he plans to celebrate election night.

Late Sunday afternoon, French police emptied the place of tourists. Police dogs searched the site. Hundreds of Macron supporters were waiting quietly outside barriers to pass security checks, while Macron’s volunteer staffers were handing them French tricolor flags.

Earlier in the day, the courtyard was briefly evacuated after a suspicious bag was discovered. The famous museum itself was not evacuated or closed.

In the days leading up to the election, the Paris prosecutors’ office launched an investigation following a hacking attack targeting Macron.

France’s election campaign commission said Saturday that “a significant amount of data” — and some fake information — was leaked on social networks following the hacking attack on Macron.

The leaked documents appeared largely mundane, and the perpetrators remain unknown. The commission urged French media and citizens not to relay the documents.

Earlier this week, Paris prosecutors launched a separate investigation into whether fake news was being used to influence voting in Sunday’s presidential runoff.

Macron’s campaign filed suit against an unknown source “X” after his far-right rival suggested on television that the former banker could have an offshore account. Macron denies having any such account.