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France: The left back in power

Latest update : 19/06/2012

François Hollande’s victory on May 6, 2012 marks the return of the French left to power, 17 years after François Mitterrand’s historic win in 1981. Hollande, who beat incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy by 51.6% of the vote to 48.4%, came to power on a promise to tax the super rich, promote growth instead of austerity and create thousands of jobs in education. In a first symbolic gesture, the newly-named government led by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault voted to cut ministers’ salary by 30%.

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Socialists free to push through reform agenda

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Background
  • Thousands storm Bastille for left's long-awaited party
  • Hollande ousts Sarkozy in French presidential vote
  • Socialist Hollande triumphs in French presidential poll
  • Live blog: Hollande's victory as it happened
  • Europe watches and waits as France votes for president
  • France votes in tight presidential race
  • France set to vote for president as Europe looks on
  • Hollande and Sarkozy trade final barbs as campaigning draws to a close
  • Sarkozy government resigns ahead of power handover

ON THE OBSERVERS

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How Hollande won the race

THE FRANCE 24 INTERVIEW

FRENCH ELECTIONS 2012