Sarkozy to reshuffle government

2010-03-22 10:22

kalahari.com

Paris – France's President Nicolas Sarkozy was left scrambling for a way to relaunch his once relentless reform drive on Monday, after a humiliating defeat in nationwide regional elections.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon was to meet the French leader at 09:00 following Sunday's debacle, which left Sarkozy's right-wing UMP in charge of only one of France's mainland regions.

There have been reports that Fillon will offer to resign, but at the very least observers expect a cabinet reshuffle that will signal a new start in Sarkozy's campaign to persuade France to swallow difficult reforms.

"Tonight's result confirms the success of the left's lists. We have not been convincing," Fillon admitted on Sunday after the Socialist-led opposition beat the UMP by around 54% to 36%.

"This is a disappointment for the governing party. I take my share of responsibility, and tomorrow morning I'll take this up with the president."

If confirmed, the estimates – based on samples of cast ballots by polling agencies – leave Sarkozy's supporters in control of only one of France's 22 mainland regions, their right-wing stronghold of Alsace.

The left, dominated by the Socialist Party, appeared to have held onto the mainland and the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe and to have won a tight race to wrest Corsica from the UMP.

Consolation

The UMP consoled itself with having taken back French Guyana and the Indian Ocean island of Reunion in the vote to elect the regional councils that are in charge of transport, education and cultural policy.

"The French have expressed their rejection of the politics of the president and the government," Socialist party leader Martine Aubry said, calling on the left to unite behind a programme to retake power at a national level.

Turnout, although low, was around four percent higher than in last week's first round. Polling agencies TNS-Sofres and OpinionWay separately predicted that the second round abstention rate would be 49%.

Last week's first-round vote saw the French leader's right-wing supporters win their lowest share of the vote in more than three decades. The party's final score was higher but still low enough to constitute a stark defeat.

Sarkozy, who still has a comfortable majority in the national parliament, has insisted that the regional poll is not a verdict on central government, but he is expected to order a reshuffle in the next few days.

For many French newspapers however, it was the president rather than his government or his prime minister who was to blame for the right's poor electoral showing.

Hyper president

Monday's edition of the Lyon-based paper Le Progres mocked Sarkozy as the "hyper president" who had become the "hyper loser"; Le Telegramme, another regional daily, attacked what it described as Sarkozy's autocratic style.

The results "send the same message all across France and obliges the head of state to read it as a national punishment and thus to come up with answers to the concerns of the electorate", said the regional daily La Montagne.

Certainly, the result was another blow to a president whose personal approval ratings are at an all-time low and will likely increase pressure within his own party for a change of direction.

One opinion poll on Monday suggested that most French people wanted the president to change his approach to leading the country.

The poll, by CSA for Le Parisien newspaper, had 54% of those polls agreeing that Sarkozy should adopt a "more presidential style".

Only 30% of the 2 004 respondents questioned on Sunday thought he should maintain his present style.
Read more on:    francois fillon  |  nicolas sarkozy  |  france
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Music

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The spotlight may be on you and you need to perform. This can be overwhelming and you need to stay as focussed and centred as you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.