Félicitations! Czech politicians congratulate re-elected French president

Prime Minister Petr Fiala welcomed Emmanuel Macron's re-election, while French expats voted overwhelmingly in favor to re-elect the president.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 25.04.2022 10:43:00 (updated on 25.04.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala congratulated French President Emmanuel Macron on defending his post in the second round of the election Sunday. Other politicians from the government coalition also welcomed the result of the presidential election in France.

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský wished Macron courage for another five years of service to France and Europe. He said challenges from the war to climate change lie ahead.

Fiala said France is an important partner of the Czech Republic. He said on Twitter that his government is interested in further developing its relationship with France. He also noted that Czechia will replace France as the president of the Council of the European Union this summer.

The French presidential election ended Sunday evening. French media report Macron as the clear winner of the election with nearly 58 percent of the vote. Rival candidate Marine Le Pen accepted the defeat but said she considers winning 42 percent of the vote a "shining victory."

Le Pen said she is ready to keep fighting, referencing the French legislative election in June and urging voters to give them a parliamentary majority to hamstring Macron.

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Czech Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Bartoš said he looks forward to seeing deeper Czech-French cooperation continue. "Against the aggression and expansiveness of the Kremlin, there must be a strong united EU, to which France may considerably contribute," he said.

Czech lower house chairwoman Markéta Pekarová Adamová said that "nationalism and populism lost in the election, and therefore France will continue to be a partner of the EU and NATO."

Tomio Okamura, leader of the Czech far-right opposition, was present for the calculation of the votes at the election headquarters of Le Pen in Paris. Okamura said that Marine Le Pen scored a moral victory.

"That she advanced to the second round of the election and became the leader of the opposition is really a big victory. It confirmed that she is the greatest woman in both French and European politics," he said.

Okamura said that while Le Pen did not win, her opinions did. He said Le Pen inspired practically the whole political scene in France and other countries to at least partly begin a return to their national and European roots.

Czech Senate chairman Miloš Vystrčil said the result of the French presidential elections seems to him a call for the cooperation of democratic politicians rather than a reason to celebrate.

"Marine Le Pen got stronger, and it is necessary to be alert," he said.

Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said Le Pen's loss proves that populism can be defeated, although it fights without gloves and rules. This should be taken as a larger lesson and a source of hope, he said.

Opposition leader and former Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš called Macron's winning a second term an enormous success and positive news for both France and the whole of Europe.

"You play an irreplaceable role in the European Council, and stability is even more important in the present hard times," Babiš tweeted.

Lower house European Affairs Committee head Ondřej Benešík said the first round of the French presidential election showed that society in France is divided.

"Radical and extremist candidates gained more than 50 percent. In the second round, many voters did not vote for Macron, but against Le Pen. She changed her image and rhetorics and got closer to the political mainstream. She was more focused on social affairs and stopped speaking about leaving the EU. Her result is another warning for France anyway," Benešík said.

In the French presidential election organized in the French secondary school in Prague, Macron received 84.7 percent of the votes from French citizens living in Czechia and Le Pen 15.3 percent, the French embassy in Prague tweeted.

The turnout was 54.6 percent and 1,853 persons took part in the vote, about 40 fewer than in the first round.

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