Socialists hail gains in parliamentary vote

17th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 17, 2007 (AFP) - French Socialists on Sunday welcomed gains made in parliamentary elections, saying the expected landslide for President Nicolas Sarkozy's party had not materialized.

PARIS, June 17, 2007 (AFP) - French Socialists on Sunday welcomed gains made in parliamentary elections, saying the expected landslide for President Nicolas Sarkozy's party had not materialized.

"The 'blue wave' that was announced and was set to sweep did not take place," said party leader Francois Hollande shortly after the first result estimates showed the Socialists had won more than 200 seats, up from 149 in the outgoing legislature.

"There will be in the next Assembly, and thank goodness, diversity and pluralism. This is good for the country." 

Hollande said the result showed that French voters wanted a countervailing power to Sarkozy to "allow balance and a counterweight that is indispensable in democracy."

Defeated presidential candidate Segolene Royal, who is Hollande's partner, said the elections had yielded a "truly constructive opposition force" in parliament.

"The opposition today has the task of monitoring, protecting and also proposing," said Royal, who was not seeking a seat in the elections but is vying for the party leadership.

The better-than-expected showing of the Socialists in the final round of the elections provided a boost for the party that had become demoralized after Royal lost the presidency to Sarkozy last month.

The Socialists had campaigned on a warning that a huge UMP majority in parliament would lead to a dangerous concentration of powers in Sarkozy's hands and turn the legislature into an annex of his already strong presidency.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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