Emmanuel Macron has been inaugurated as France’s new president at the Élysée Palace, a few days after an outstanding win against the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.
In his first speech as President, Macron promised to reform and relaunch the embattled European Union during his time in office.
The 39-year-old centrist takes over from President Francois Hollande, the Socialist whose five years in power were plagued by stubborn unemployment and bloody terror attacks.
Macron overcame the odds to win an election, saying he can unite a divided nation.
In a first for the world’s fifth largest economy that is a founding member of the European Union, the 39 year-old centrist newcomer was unknown to the wider public three years ago and does not belong to any traditional political grouping.
The former investment banker will become the youngest postwar French leader and the first to be born after 1958 when President Charles de Gaulle put in place the country’s fifth Republic.
Security was tight with about 1,500 police officers deployed near the presidential palace and the nearby Avenue des Champs-Élysées and surrounding roads were blocked off.
Among the dignitaries present were French Constitutional Council President Laurent Fabius, who formally accorded the presidency to Macron, and outgoing Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.
Hollande and Macron had a brief meeting before the former left his home of five years.
Macron will name a prime minister on Monday (May 15) and the new government will be announced on Tuesday (May 16), a source said.