Sarkozy supporters cheer amid reports of victory

6th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 6, 2007 (AFP) - Supporters of Nicolas Sarkozy erupted in cheers Sunday, celebrating unconfirmed reports of a resounding victory for the rightwinger in France's presidential election.

PARIS, May 6, 2007 (AFP) - Supporters of Nicolas Sarkozy erupted in cheers Sunday, celebrating unconfirmed reports of a resounding victory for the rightwinger in France's presidential election.

Cries of "We won!" rose from the crowd of supporters gathered at a concert hall in Paris where the rightwing leader was scheduled to give an election night speech.

French law forbids the publication of projections until the last polling booths close at 8 pm (1800 GMT) although the figures are distributed to media and party headquarters up to 90 minutes in advance.

Sarkozy, the former interior minister, ran against Socialist Segolene Royal in the election to succeed President Jacques Chirac who is stepping down after 12 years in office.

After voting in the chic Paris suburb of Neuilly sur Seine, Sarkozy went to his Paris campaign headquarters in the late afternoon, smiling broadly and shaking hands with members of the crowd that gathered outside to await the result.

At Royal's campaign headquarters, some 300 supporters were gathered in a somber mood, with a few members of the Socialist youth movement defiantly shouting "Segolene, President!".

Technicians were erecting a stage in the Place de la Concorde in central Paris late afternoon at the spot where celebrations were planned for a Sarkozy victory.

Around 100 television crews and some 15 police buses were also at the scene.

The first projections from exit polls were to be flashed across the screens of major television stations immediately after the polling stations close at 1800 GMT.

Thousands of police, anti-riot units and gendarmes were on standby to quell any outbreak of violence in the suburbs where Sarkozy is hated by many in the poor neighbourhoods that exploded into rioting in late 2005.

Sarkozy, 52, says he wants to get France "back to work" and is proposing tax cuts and incentives to free up the labour market. He also supports tougher controls on immigration.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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