Sarkozy concedes defeat

2012-05-06 20:32

Paris - French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Sunday he would not lead his right-wing UMP party into June's parliamentary polls, as his campaign spokesperson conceded defeat in the presidential.

"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 spokesperson, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, meanwhile conceded that "we have lost this election" [to Francois Hollande]  and party leader Jean-Francois Cope called for supporters to mobilise in time for the parliamentary vote.

Hollande is France's first Socialist president in nearly two decades.

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.

Read more on:    francois hollande  |  nicolas sarkozy  |  france  |  france elections 2012
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