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PARIS, April 24. /TASS/. The founder of the political movement "En Marche!", 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron, is determined to become the youngest president in the history of the Fifth Republic, established by Charles de Gaulle more than 50 years ago.
"I want to be your president," he told his supporters after he was declared winner according to early results of the first round of the French presidential vote.
To reach the goal, Macron needs to defeat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the runoff on May 7. With all ballots counted in the first round, Macron seems as a likely winner with 23.82% of the vote, closely followed by Le Pen with 21.58%
Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frederic Macron was born on December 21, 1977, in Amiens, in the family of Francoise Nogues, a physician, and Jean-Michel Macron, Professor of neurology at the University of Picardy. He is married to Brigitte Trogneux, his former school teacher in La Providence high school in Amiens, who is 24 years older than him. They first met when he was 15 and have officially been a couple since Macron turned 18. Macron says she is his right hand in preparing campaign speeches.
On Sunday, the couple cast their ballots at the polling station in the Northern French resort city of Le Touquet. Coincidentally, the polling station was located in the same town hall where they were married 10 years ago, in October 2007.
Macron obtained a master's degree in public affairs at Sciences Po, before training for a senior civil service career at the Ecole nationale d'administration (ENA) in Strasbourg. He graduated from it in 2004. But instead of immediately entering politics, Macron assumed a post at the Rothschild bank.
In 2006, Macron became a member of the Socialist Party (PS). From 2012 to 2014, he served as an advisor to President Francois Hollande, but resigned a year later after the latter failed to appoint him as chief of his administration. He returned to politics on August 26, 2014, when he was appointed the economy minister.
While a member of Hollande’s government, Macron earned a reputation of a liberal politician, advocating balanced state finances and liberal market. His most notable initiative was a bill intended to spur business activity and ensure equal possibilities.
In 2015, he announced that he was now an independent politician and in August 2016 resigned from the government. This came shortly after he announced the foundation of his own political movement, "En Marche!". Macron has described this organization as being a mix of elements from both the left and the right.
He opened his 2017 electoral campaign with a nearly two-hour speech at a rally in Paris, starting it with asking his supporters: "Are you ready to change France?"
Macron puts the problem of unemployment, which President Hollande failed to solve, among his top domestic policy priorities.
"I want to speak about our battle against unemployment, which adjudges some of our people to spend their days under a house arrest. It would be an economic and social battle," the presidential hopeful said, promising to create favorable conditions for employers and employees.
Macron explained that he decided to run for presidency when he understood that only a president has the power to truly reform the country. He is convinced that he bears no responsibility for the social and economic developments in France in the past five years. "I was neither a president, nor a prime minister," he said once.
The "En Marche!" leader has been cautious about his expected foreign policy so far, so little is known about his possible first steps on the international arena, including in relations with Russia. ‘European policy will allow us to hold a dialogue with Russia," he said in one of his campaign speeches. "But speaking with Moscow does not mean that we share the same values.".