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Macron wins French presidency by a large margin as he gives brief speech after French victory


PARIS (AP) — The Latest on France’s presidential runoff Sunday between centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen (all times local):

9:15 p.m.

France’s president-elect Emmanuel Macron acknowledged divisions in society he says drove people to “vote to the extreme” and says he will work for all of France.

Macron, whose far-right opponent Marine Le Pen had called for leaving the European Union and returning France to the franc currency, says that he will defend both France and Europe as president.

The 39-year-old former banker, who served as finance minister under the unpopular President Francois Hollande, briefly acknowledged his onetime mentor.

But not once cracking a smile in the short speech, Macron says that he needed to look forward for the sake all of France.

It was less a victory speech than one of acknowledgement of the task ahead for Macron, who was projected to win 65 percent of votes cast for a candidate, compared with 35 percent for Le Pen.

The head of the European Union’s executive has congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his election as French president and says that his pro-European message will continue to be that of founding nation France.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says that it made him “happy that the ideas that you defended of a strong and progressive Europe that protects all its citizens will be those that France will cherish under your presidency.”

Juncker had already shown his clear support for Macron after the first round in the elections and insisted that a win Marine Le Pen would have been bad for the EU and France alike.

8:50 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff has congratulated Emmanuel Macron, tweeting in French “vive la France, Vive L’Europe!” or “Long live France, long live Europe!”

Peter Altmaier says the result is “a strong signal for our common values.”

Merkel’s chief spokesman, Steffen Seibert, also has tweeted in French “felicitations,” or congratulations. He says it’s “a victory for a strong and united Europe.”

Before the results came in, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, a Social Democrat, urged support for Macron in his efforts to create jobs and undermine support for the National Front party’s nationalist approach under far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Gabriel said that a Macron victory means that “we have only won time.

We must do everything to see that Macron succeeds.”

8:40 p.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has offered her warm wishes to France’s new president-elect, saying she welcomes a chance to work with Emmanuel Macron.

May’s Downing Street office says that she “warmly congratulates President-elect Macron on his election success.”

In comments released immediately after exit polls showed Macron’s victory, May said that France is one of Britain’s closest allies and “we look forward to working with the new president on a wide range of shared priorities.”