News / Europe

French Left Surges Ahead in Legislative Elections

French President Francois Hollande reacts after leaving a restaurant in Tulle, central France, June 10, 2012.
French President Francois Hollande reacts after leaving a restaurant in Tulle, central France, June 10, 2012.
Lisa Bryant
PARIS -  France's left surged ahead in the first round of legislative elections on Sunday. Initial results showed leftist parties capturing 47.1 percent of the vote, compared to 35.4 percent for the center right. But France's new Socialist President Francois Hollande is not assured of an absolute majority in parliament. 

 

The French left hailed its gains in the first round of legislative voting Sunday. Socialist Party head Martine Aubry said it signaled a call for change on the part of the country's electorate. 

 

Speaking on TV, Aubrey said the left's score was much higher than during the last legislative elections, in 2007. But she warned that nothing was certain, and urged French to vote in the runoffs next Sunday. 

 

With voter turnout at less than 60 percent in this first round, the center-right UMP party delivered the same "get-out-the" vote" message. 

 

Also speaking on French TV, UMP head Jean-Francois Cope put a positive spin on the right's score. He said many French are worried that President Francois Hollande will increase taxes and roll back the fight against crime. 

 

The country's new Socialist leader is hoping for a clear-cut majority in the lower house to push through a series of economic and social reforms. For its part, the right is hoping to staunch the leftist wave that toppled former President Nicolas Sarkozy in last month's presidential elections. 

 

In interviews on Sunday, French voters expressed wide-ranging concerns, ranging from the state of the economy to the eurozone crisis. 

 

In the Paris suburb of Neuilly Plaisance, Eric Manfredi, who teaches public law, cast his vote for the Greens Party. 

 

"I believe ecological issues are the biggest issues of the next century. And we've got to fight for it," he said. 

 

French voters head back to the polls next Sunday for the second and final round of voting.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid