French President-elect Macron gears up for challenges ahead

PARIS — French President-elect Emmanuel Macron laid the groundwork Monday for his transition to power, announcing a visit to Germany and a name change for his political movement and appearing with his predecessor at a solemn World War II commemoration.

Macron handily defeated far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s presidential runoff, and now must pull together a majority of lawmakers for his year-old political movement to run in the mid-June legislative election.

Leaders in Germany and Britain praised Macron’s victory but viewed it through their own electoral challenges.

Macron’s party is changing its name to La Republique En Marche (Republic on the Move) as it prepares a list of candidates. Macron has promised that half of those candidates will be new to elected politics, as he was before his victory on Sunday.

Macron won the presidency with 66 percent of votes cast for a candidate but the vote saw a high number of blank or spoiled votes and unusually low turnout.

Le Pen says she will lead the opposition to Macron.

On Monday, a French national holiday, Macron joined President Francois Hollande in a commemoration of the formal German defeat in World War II.

It was the first time the men had appeared in public together since Macron resigned in August 2016 as Hollande’s economy minister to run for president — a decision that was received coldly by the French leader at the time.

On Monday, though, Hollande gripped Macron’s arm before the two men walked side by side and then announced the transfer of power would take place on Sunday.

Monday also marked decades of peace in Western Europe, something Macron made a cornerstone of his campaign against Le Pen’s brand of nationalist populism. Le Pen had called for France to leave the 28-nation European Union and drop the shared euro currency in favor of…

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