French Socialist ex-premier wants to join Macron's movement

Freshly elected to the French presidency, now comes the equally hard Act II for Emmanuel Macron: securing the parliamentary majority he needs to make good on his campaign promises to lift France out of economic gloom.

Mr Valls was one of several Socialist Party heavyweights who backed Mr Macron after members selected leftwinger Benoit Hamon as presidential candidate. Macron has promised that half of those candidates will be new to elected politics. It is against this backdrop that Mr Macron will have to seek to win a majority in the French Parliament.

Now he must convert his extraordinary rise into a solid presence in the National Assembly.

"I am going to serve on your behalf with humility, with devotion, with determination", said Macron.

But if another party wins a majority, the new president could be pressured to choose a prime minister from that party, a situation the French call "cohabitation". It was this latter France that voted for Mr Macron's opponent, Ms Marine Le Pen.

Her father and co-founder of FN Jean-Marie Le Pen made it to the second round in 2002, but lost to Jacques Chirac by a big margin of 17.8 to 82.2 percent.

Trump steps back from brink of killing North American trade pact
Answering a reporter's question Thursday about the possible timeframe for NAFTA talks, Trump said: "It'll start very soon". As a candidate, Trump frequently called NAFTA a "disaster" and vowed to renegotiate its terms or scuttle it altogether.

The belief the Front National will make a strong comeback comes as France now prepares for legislative elections, or French parliamentary elections, in June.

Monday also marked decades of peace in Western Europe, something Macron highlighted in his campaign against Le Pen.

Appearing alongside outgoing leader Francois Hollande in front of the Arc De Triomphe, the 39-year-old laid a wreath and spoke to veterans at a ceremony marking the end of World War II in Europe.

The centre-left Socialists and centre-right Republicans, both of which were trounced in the elections, are divided on whether they are willing to work with Macron, and the hard left remains implacably opposed to him. In August 2014, Hollande named him economy minister within his Socialist government. In the run-off against Ms Le Pen, he got nearly two-thirds of the vote, according to exit polls.

Front National vice president Florian Philippot confirmed that the party's name was bound to change as part of this transformation. However, the election did mark the largest number of votes her party has ever won.

Asked about the impact of Mr Macron's victory on Brexit, the Prime Minister said: "He has been elected with a very strong mandate, we must make sure that in the United Kingdom we also have a strong mandate to take a strong position into the negotiating table".

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