Winning the French presidential vote may have been the easy part for Emmanuel Macron.
Now, the 39-year-old, who on Sunday defeated the far right National Front’s Marine Le Pen with a resounding 65 percent of the vote, has five weeks to turn his year-old En Marche! — or On the Move! — political movement into a vehicle capable of winning a majority or at least garnering enough seats in parliament to govern or form a coalition.
Without that, Macron could find himself a figurehead from the get-go, incapable of putting into action his campaign promises of economic modernization. That in turn might embolden populists who France has managed to keep at bay this time, but may not be able to again. The narrower margin of victory over the National Front compared with previous elections shows that parties that see France’s central role in the European Union may not get many more chances.