The Latest: France's Macron got 10 million more votes than Le Pen

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PARIS (AP) -- Final results from the French presidential election show that winner Emmanuel Macron received 10 million more votes than far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

The official tally published Monday by the Interior Ministry showed that Macron collected 20.8 million votes, or 66.1 percent, while Le Pen garnered 10.6 million voters, or 33.9 percent.

Macron's election support was the second-highest for a French president in recent history. Jacques Chirac received 25.5 million votes, 82.2 percent of the tally, in 2002.

Le Pen's result was both a personal best and a best for her National Front party in a national election.

Turnout was 74.6 percent, the lowest for a French presidential runoff in 48 years.

With 12.1 million voters who didn't cast ballots, there were more non-voters than Le Pen voters in Sunday's election.

In another sign of discontent with the two candidates, a record number of 4 million voters cast blank or spoiled ballots.

Lebanon's president, Michel Aoun, has congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his election victory and says Beirut and Paris will continue to work for peace and stability in the Middle East.

Aoun said that Macron's victory shows French citizens' commitment "to the values of freedom, equality and brotherhood."

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri also congratulated Macron saying "you will find in me a partner keen to echo our common values."

France, Lebanon's one-time colonial ruler, still enjoys wide influence in the country. Hundreds of French peacekeepers are deployed near the border with Israel.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is "very happy" that Emmanuel Macron has won the presidential election in France.

Speaking at a party event Monday in Berlin, Merkel said Macron bears the hopes of many Europeans. She pledged to continue Germany's close cooperation with France.

But she appeared cautious about proposals to support Macron's economic reform plans either by relaxing European spending rules or with a dedicated stimulus fund.

Merkel told reporters that "we should wait to see what ideas and wishes the new president expresses."

She says the economic policies Berlin advocates for Europe had worked well for Germany and added: "German support can't replace French policies."

Merkel is due to meet outgoing French President Francois Hollande late Monday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says the election of Emmanuel Macron makes it even more important for voters to back her and strengthen Britain's hand in EU exit talks.

May says Macron "was elected with a strong mandate which he can take with him as a strong position in the negotiations."

May has called a snap election for June 8, arguing that her Conservatives need a bigger majority in order to stand firm against - and strike deals with - the EU.

She dismisses chances Macron will scrap an agreement that lets British border formalities take place on French soil in Calais - and keep migrants there. Macron has said he will put the deal back on the table. May said Monday that she will argue the agreement "works for the benefit of both the U.K. and France."



 
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