Ronald S. Lauder, World Jewish Congress President
Ronald S. Lauder, World Jewish Congress PresidentShahar Azran/WJC

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder reacted on Sunday to the release of the preliminary results of the second and final round of the French presidential election, which found that President Emmanuel Macron will defeat his right-wing challenger, Marine Le Pen, by more than 16 points.

“Together with all supporters of freedom and democracy across the globe, I am profoundly gratified by President Macron’s projected re-election. He has demonstrated himself to be a stalwart advocate of all that is decent in our turbulent world and an enemy of all forms of antisemitism, xenophobia, and all other bigotries and hatreds," said Lauder.

"At this time when millions have been displaced and are suffering, and in the face of unspeakable atrocities and threats, we need his steady leadership. I congratulate President Macron and the nation and people of France on this tremendously important victory," he added.

Currently, Macron, the incumbent and leader of the centrist En Marche party, is projected to receive 58.2% of the vote, compared to 41.8% for National Rally party chairwoman Le Pen.

Le Pen acknowledged defeat in a concession speech Sunday, but vowed to run for a third time, claiming that despite her loss, her political movement had won a "sparkling victory."

Turnout is estimated to have reached 71.8%, down from 74.6% in the second round of voting in the previous presidential election, held in 2017.

Macron defeat Le Pen by a massive 32.2-point margin in 2017, after the two candidates topped the first round of voting.