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Sarkozy Elected French President

Posted May. 08, 2007 07:46,   


The French voted for change.

Candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, 52, of the ruling rightist Union for a Popular Movement party beat Ségolène Royal, 53, the Socialist candidate in the final election to win the five-year presidency of France on Sunday.

The majority of voters voted for Sarkozy, who promised to make a break from old socialist ways and opt for big economic changes that promote growth. French voters chose a society where people can earn more money if they work more over a society that relishes in the 35-hour work week. They also agreed that there cannot be sharing without growth.

Sarkozy earned 53.06 percent of the vote to beat Royal, who garnered only 46.94 percent. The voter turnout rate was even higher than the first election’s 83.77 percent at 83.97 percent. This showed how important this election is to the French. Big economic changes are anticipated with Sarkozy at the helm.

During a speech that followed the announcement, President-elect Sarkozy said that he would break with the ideas, habits, and behaviors of the past. He stressed that he would put an end to France’s old ways of promoting moral hazard through a loose social safety net.

Born after the Second World War, he is France’s first post-war president. Many changes are to be made for sure by a president who is 22 years younger than the incumbent President Jacques Chirac. Not only that, he is not a graduate of the elite Ecole Nationale d`Administration (ENA). All these factors have the French anticipating changes to French politics, which are well known for their elitism and authoritarianism.

Many changes are anticipated in diplomatic policy as well. President-elect Sarkozy is already known as a supporter of the United States. U.S.-French relations will be much closer now.

Some, however, point out that society could become integrated. His anti-immigration policy and aggressive position against crime might mean that there may be a backlash against politics from impoverished districts with a big immigrant population. There were several small-scale protests throughout the country after the election results were announced.

The French left has lost three straight presidential elections counting this one. “I understand my supporters’ disappointment,” said Royal. “I will work to revolutionize the leftist party.” Unless the French left beats the right in the June general elections and forms a coalition government with the right, it will be in a tough spot.

President-elect Sarkozy will inherit all the powers of the president once he receives the secret nuclear launch codes from President Chirac next Wednesday.