The French steer left, including France-in-Israel

Hollande’s party now has absolute majority in parliament, having won 314 seats in 577-seat body, while right-wing UMP has only 229.

By JOSEPH STRICH
June 19, 2012 04:49
2 minute read.
Francois Hollande, Socialist Party candidate

French presidential candidate Hollande 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The French Socialist Party won a great victory in the second round of elections on Sunday.

New President François Hollande’s party now has an absolute majority in the parliament, having won 314 seats in the 577-seat body, while the right-wing UMP has only 229.

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For the first time, French people living abroad will have deputies in the Palais Bourbon; the French citizens who live in Israel will be represented by Daphna Poznanski-Benhamou from the Socialist Party.

Alain Juppé, until recently the foreign minister from the UMP, called it “a clear victory for the PS [Socialist Party] and a defeat for UMP.”

Jean-Luc Mélenchon from the communist-dominated Left Party, lost his own race for the legislature, but still said: “Good news. The French do not want the Right in power...

This is a good position in Europe, particularly in front of Mrs. [Angela] Merkel [the German chancellor].”

The centrist Democratic Movement, lead by François Bayrou, has almost disappeared, winning only two seats in the National Assembly, leaving Bayrou out in the cold, and the National Front also managed to win only two seats, none of them for its leader Marine Le Pen, but one for her 22- year-old niece Marion Maréchal-Le Pen.

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Concerning the more leftist parties, the Greens won 17 and the Left Front 10.

The result is that Hollande with his allies can count on 343 deputies, an overwhelming majority.

Out of the 577 lawmakers in the National Assembly, 11 now represent the French citizens living in foreign countries.

Israel is in the 8th Constituency together with Italy, the Vatican, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, San Marino and Turkey.

On Monday in France, Elisabeth Guigou, a new elected Socialist deputy now running for the assembly’s presidency, said in an interview: “The magnitude of the results has surprised us. I am very happy that we now have in our hands the mechanisms to make a change, and the reforms to the constitution as planned, the vote for foreigners....”

Laurent Fabius, the new foreign minister, said that the victory “will allow the vote for laws to make a change and to act in France and Europe.”

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, in a speech on TV, told the voters: “You have given us the possibility to act, you have chosen ‘coherence’.... Objective: A reorientation of Europe towards growth.”

The National Front is now issuing a call “to reunite a great force as an alternative to socialism, as the political spectrum is changing in France.”

On TV Sunday night, the noted sociologist Michel Wieviorka said now that Hollande now has a free hand and political hegemony, “he is not allowed to fail.”

The correspondent in Greece for France 2 television said: “There is a lot of interest in the elections in France, which means hope of resistance to austerity coming from the north of Europe.” The Greeks on Sunday voted for a government in favor of staying in the euro zone.

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