Emmanuel Macron, youngest French leader since Napoleon, sworn in

France inaugurated 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron as president on Sunday, making him the country’s youngest leader since Napoleon.

Macron, an independent centrist who has never before held elected office and most recently served as the economy minister in outgoing Socialist president Francois Hollande’s government, was elected on May 7.

Laurent Fabius, the president of the Constitutional Council, proclaimed the official result of the vote in a ceremony at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris.

The ceremony began with Macron slowly marching alone, under a light rain, in the Elysee courtyard. He shook hands with his predecessor Hollande at the front porch and the two men briefly posed for photographers.

They then met for one hour, after which Hollande left the Elysee grounds.

As he left, the now-former president was loudly applauded by the employees of the French presidency. He shook hands with Macron, who accompanied him to his car and also applauded him.

Macron then posed for photographers at the front porch of the Elysee with his wife, Brigitte.

Macron is the eighth president of France’s Fifth Republic, created in 1958. He is the first French president who didn’t come from one of the country’s two mainstream parties. His Republic on the Move movement hopes to reinvigorate French politics and win a majority of lawmakers in the June parliamentary election.

Macron has now taken charge of a nation that, when Britain leaves the European Union in 2019, will become the EU’s only member with nuclear weapons and a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

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