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Sarkozy wins French presidential race
Latest Updated by 2007-05-08 08:55:01

Photo:

French right-wing presidential candidate of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) Nicolas Sarkozy is applauded by the crowd as he arrives to deliver a speech, at the "salle Gaveau" in Paris. Sarkozy scored an emphatic victory in the French presidential election Sunday, trouncing Socialist rival Segolene Royal to win a clear mandate for tough economic and social reforms. (Xinhua Photo)

Photo:

French Socialist party (PS) presidential candidate Segolene Royal speaks to supporters as she leaves the Maison de l'Amerique Latine, May 6, 2007 in Paris, after the announcement of the first unofficial results of the French presidential final round. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

Photo:

French right-wing presidential candidate of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) Nicolas Sarkozy is applauded by the crowd as he arrives to deliver a speech, at the "salle Gaveau" in Paris. Sarkozy scored an emphatic victory in the French presidential election Sunday, trouncing Socialist rival Segolene Royal to win a clear mandate for tough economic and social reforms. (Xinhua Photo)

Photo:

French right-wing presidential candidate of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) Nicolas Sarkozy is applauded by the crowd as he arrives to deliver a speech, at the "salle Gaveau" in Paris. Sarkozy scored an emphatic victory in the French presidential election Sunday, trouncing Socialist rival Segolene Royal to win a clear mandate for tough economic and social reforms. (Xinhua Photo)

Photo:

Nicolas Sarkozy, France's UMP political party presidential candidate, exits the voting booth before casting his ballot in the second round vote at a polling station in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, May 6, 2007. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy has won the French presidential race by winning 53.7 percent of the vote in Sunday's run-off with Socialist Segolene Royal, preliminary results show.

He will succeed 74-year-old Jacques Chirac, who has ruled for 12 years.

"I should be the president of all the French people and should speak on behalf of all the French," Sarkozy told thousands of jubilant supporters at the headquarters of his ruling Union of a Popular Movement.

"This is not the victory of one France over another. It is the victory of democracy, and of French values," said Sarkozy.

Promising that he wants to give the French people back "the pride of being French," he said his priority will be to do everything to ensure that "the French people continue to speak to each other, to understand each other, and to work together."

"Now is the time for me to give back to France what France has given me. Together we are going to write a new page of history. The page, I am sure, will be great and beautiful," he said.

Stressing that the French people "have chosen changes," he said he will fulfill his mandate along with all the French people and let every French to have his or her place in the society.

He also turned his eyes on France's European partners, telling them that "today, France is back in Europe."

"I urged our European partners to hear the voice of the French people who wish to be protected," he added.

Sarkozy, who is known for his admiration of the United States, also told U.S. leaders that "you can count on our friendship."

Before Sarkozy delivered his victory speech, Royal conceded defeat, but vowed to fight on.

"The universal suffrage has spoken. I hope the next president of the republic will be able to carry out his duties in the benefits of all French men and women," she said.

She spoke among cheers of her supporters at the House of Latin America. Royal smiled all the way through her brief speech.

Royal thanked her supporters and vowed to continue the leftist course. Something begun cannot be stopped," she said while her supporters chanted "Segolene, Merci!" (Segolene, Thank you!).

"I put all my strength into what I have done and I will continue alongside you, together with you."

She vowed to revive the left wing in French politics. "You can count upon me to continue renovating the left, to continue to find new points of convergence beyond existing borders and frontiers. This is the precondition for having a future."

"There are other democratic goals toward which we must work," she said, obviously in reference to next month's parliamentary elections.

Francois Bayrou, a centrist politician who came in the third place in the first round of the presidential race, also set his sight on the parliamentary elections.

"Power has to be balanced. That is the stake in the parliamentary election," he said in a speech on Sunday.

"The first duty of democracy is to ensure that every power has to have the check and balance. Nobody must have power for himself alone."

The leader of Union for French Democracy party warned Sarkozy against attempts to gain absolute power.

"I say to Nicolas Sarkozy that concentration of power is very comfortable, but is an illusion: when absolute power makes a mistake, it makes an absolute mistake."

He called for reconciliation and promised he would say yes to the new president's correct proposals. "We can't have a France in which some people are always for and other people are always against."

But he added that he would set the alarms ringing if necessary."We shall commit ourselves to being positive and constructive. But we shall also be vigilant."

Bayrou, who is called the "third man" in the presidential race, said he would propose a new movement for democracy in the next few days, without giving details.

Bayrou appealed to Royal and other candidates who were defeated in the presidential race for participation in the future of France.

"Democracy is not only for the winners. Those who have been beaten also have their role to play in the modernization and re-balancing of France," he said.

"In politics, all political forces -- on the left, on the right, in the center -- have to move, have to change, have to learn to work together rather than work against each other."

Bayrou, who won 6.8 million ballots, or 18.6 percent, in the first round, refused to endorse either Sarkozy or Royal in the second round, adding uncertainty in the race.

This year's presidential election marks the transfer of power from Chirac to a new generation of politicians. The high voter turnout, even among young people, manifested the French people's eagerness for change.

The country is suffering from a crawling economy and high unemployment together with social woes such as malcontent in the suburbs of big cities.

Editor: Yan

By: Source:China View website
  Related News
• Chinese president congratulates French president-elect Sarkozy
• Sarkozy, Royal enter French presidential run-off
• "French-language week" activities held in Guangzhou





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