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Defeated Sarkozy says won't lead right in parliamentary poll
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Defeated Sarkozy says won't lead right in parliamentary poll

06.05.2012 From our online archive
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on he would not lead his right-wing UMP party into June's parliamentary polls, as his campaign spokeswoman conceded defeat in the presidential vote.

(AFP) French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on he would not lead his right-wing UMP party into June's parliamentary polls, as his campaign spokeswoman conceded defeat in the presidential vote.

"Stay together. We must win the battle of the legislatives. I will not lead that campaign," Sarkozy told senior party figures as he read them a draft of his concession speech, according to political sources at the meeting.

"I ran a campaign that addressed the French people, not the French on the left or the French on the right," he reportedly said.

Sarkozy's spokeswoman Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet meanwhile conceded that "we have lost this election" and party leader Jean-Francois Cope called for supporters to mobilise in time for the parliamentary vote.

Hollande was elected France's first Socialist president in nearly two decades on Sunday, dealing a humiliating defeat to Sarkozy and shaking up European politics.

The result will have major implications for Europe as it struggles to emerge from a financial crisis and for France, the eurozone's second-largest economy and a nuclear-armed permanent member of the UN Security Council.