PARIS: France’s Emmanuel Macron was sworn in for his second term as president on Saturday (May 7) and pledged to lead the country with a “new method” as his political rivals began campaigning for next month’s parliamentary elections.
In a country where presidents are rarely re-elected, Macron won 58.5 percent of the vote in the runoff against far-right Marine Le Pen, despite strong opposition to his pro-corporate policies and a proposal to raise the retirement age.
In a short speech, he spoke of the need to innovate at a time of unprecedented challenges for the world and for France, saying his second term would be “new” and not just a continuation of his first five years in office.
“We must invent together a new method, far from tired traditions and routines, with which we can build a new productive, social and environmental contract,” he said, promising to act with “respect” and “consideration”.
He stressed the threat posed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and global environmental concerns.
Among the 500 guests in attendance were former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, former prime ministers Edouard Philippe, Manuel Valls, Alain Juppe and Jean-Pierre Raffarin, as well as religious leaders and other state figures.
Hollande, who backed Macron in the April 24 run, told reporters after the ceremony that Macron could not afford to reproduce “yesterday’s methods”.