French president basks in leftists’ victory in elections

French president basks in leftists’ victory in elections

French president basks in leftists’ victory in elections


French President François Hollande’s Socialists Party and its allies emerged victorious in the first round of parliamentary elections June 10, making them poised to secure the majority needed to push through reforms.

The Socialists, Greens and allies won around 46 percent of the vote, ahead of the 34 percent taken by ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy’s right-wing Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party and its allies, according to final results released by the Interior Ministry.

The vote left the Socialist Party bloc likely to secure the 289 seats needed for an outright majority in the National Assembly on its own, and almost certain to do so with its Greens Party allies on board, polling institutes said. Runoffs will be held June 17 among the leading parties in constituencies where no one scored 50 percent. Initial projections based on a partial count of the first round suggested the Socialists alone could win 283 to 329 seats.

Surge in support for Le Pen

Hollande defeated Sarkozy in last month’s presidential election and wants voters to give him a strong mandate to enact reforms as France battles Europe’s crippling debt crisis, rising joblessness and a stagnant economy. Nationwide turnout was put at 57 percent, a record low for a first round of legislative elections. The election also saw a surge in support for Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front. The party won 13.6 percent of the votes, far above the 4 percent it achieved in the last parliamentary election in 2007. But under France’s first-past-the-post system, that would at best give it only three parliamentary seats and possibly none at all.

“Given the abstention rate and a profoundly anti-democratic electoral system that has for 25 years deprived millions of voters of MPs, we confirm our position tonight as France’s third political force,” Le Pen said. Although the party has not won a seat in Parliament since 1986, Le Pen is seeking to cement her party’s place in national politics. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent in the first round, any contender who scores more than 12.5 percent of the vote can stay in the race for the second round.

Compiled from AFP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff.

French MP Boyer likely to win

Vercihan Ziflioğlu - ISTANBUL

Valerie Boyer, who played a leading role in bringing a draft law about the Armenian genocide allegations before the French Parliament, is likely to be elected as an MP in the second round, according to her adviser. Garo Yalick, adviser to Boyer, told the Hürriyet Daily News that Boyer passed through the first round of legislative elections on June 10, thanks to the votes from supporters of Armenian origin in Marseille. Yalick said the Socialist candidate in Marseille is ahead of Boyer, a deputy of former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP party. But Yalick added that the statistics show that the socialists’ vote reserves are limited in that region. “It is certain that Boyer will be re-elected in [the second] round,” said Yalick.