Royal concedes defeat in election

6th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 6, 2007 (AFP) - Socialist Segolene Royal conceded defeat on Sunday in the French presidential election to rightwinger Nicolas Sarkozy.

PARIS, May 6, 2007 (AFP) - Socialist Segolene Royal conceded defeat on Sunday in the French presidential election to rightwinger Nicolas Sarkozy.

Royal, speaking to her supporters in Paris, said she hoped that "the next president of the republic will accomplish his mandate for the service of all French people."

The 53-year-old former adviser to president Francois Mitterrand had hoped to become France's first woman president, campaigning on a platform that called for protecting the country's generous welfare system.

Royal thanked her supporters, saying she "shared their disappointment and sadness" after reliable projections showed that she had won about 47 percent of the vote against 53 percent for Sarkozy, the leader of the rightwing UMP.

"I tell you that something has risen up that will not disappear."

"I gave it all I had and will continue to be with you and close to you."

"I have embarked on a renewal of political life, of its methods, and of the left," she said.

Socialist Party leader Francois Hollande, who is Royal's partner and father of her four children, said separately that a "new era was opening for the left."

Hollande said to "all those who are disappointed, who believed in a possible victory, that we must continue."

The Socialist European deputy Pierre Moscovici, described Segolene Royal's defeat as a blow to Socialists everywhere.

"I feel a tremendous sadness. This defeat is a defeat for all Socialists," he told reporters at Socialist Party (PS) headquarters in Paris.

"We are not about to start looking for someone to blame, the PS needs to mobilise for the legislatives to prevent the UMP from having full powers.

"We must refuse the UMP state, that is the most important thing. The second priority is for the left to renew itself, we need to imagine a modern left," said Moscovici.

France is heading for legislative elections in June to fill all 577 seats in the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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