Today challenger Francois Hollande unseated incumbent French President Nicolas Sarkozy with 52 percent of the vote, in doing so becoming the second Socialist president in France’s history.
Sarkozy, who conceded defeat late Sunday, thanked the French people for his five years as leader of the country, adding:
From the bottom of my heart I want France to succeed with the challenges it faces. It is something much greater than us; France. This evening we must think exclusively of France….let us have a happy France, that does not bear any hatred, a France does not give up, an open France, a France that does not consider his opponent as an enemy… A France that knows that life is made of success and defeat.
The Financial Times reports on Hollande’s campaign promises that won over the hearts of the French:
Mr Hollande campaigned on promises of higher taxes on business and top earners, subsidies for companies taking on younger and older workers, a partial reversal of the rise in the retirement age to 62, and a balanced budget by 2017.
While Hollande’s supporters were “jubilant” to have elected the first Socialist president since Mitterrand was in office 17 years ago, the crowd that had gathered to with Sarkozy ended their evening by singing La Marseillaise:
Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny’s
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts