No clear winner for Juppe’s seat in Bordeaux

15th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

BORDEAUX, France, Nov 14 (AFP) - A by-election held in this south western French constituency to fill the parliamentary seat of disgraced former prime minister Alain Juppe will go to a second round because no candidate polled the required 50 percent to win, officials said Sunday.

BORDEAUX, France, Nov 14 (AFP) - A by-election held in this south western French constituency to fill the parliamentary seat of disgraced former prime minister Alain Juppe will go to a second round because no candidate polled the required 50 percent to win, officials said Sunday.

The candidate from Juppe's ruling conservative UMP party, Hugues Martin, took the lead in the first round with 43 percent of the votes in a ballot marked by an abstention rate of 64 percent.

Socialist candidate Michele Delaunay took 32 percent of the votes, officials said.

The second round was due to be held on November 21.

Juppe was given a suspended 18-month prison sentence and disqualified from public office for 10 years in January for "taking illegal benefits" by arranging the payment of seven workers from President Jacques Chirac's RPR party from Paris municipal funds between 1988 and 1995.

The 59-year-old politician, who served as prime minister from 1995 to 1997, has long been dogged by the funding allegations dating from Chirac's long tenure as mayor of Paris.

Chirac himself has ducked questioning over the matter by invoking presidential immunity.

Juppe's resignation from the leadership of the UMP opened the way for the rising star of the centre-right, Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, to take over the party later this month.

Engaged in a bitter rivalry with Chirac, Sarkozy is widely expected to use the post to launch a presidential bid in 2007.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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