French voters have left-right choice ahead
PARIS (AP) — Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royal advanced to a runoff in Sunday’s presidential election, presenting France with a fundamental left-right choice between a conservative who could push his anxious nation toward painful change and a socialist who would be the country’s first female leader.
Royal is the first woman to get this close to the helm of this major European economic, military and diplomatic power after a campaign marked by suspense, surprise and unusually dynamic candidates who lured voters to the ballot box in near record numbers.
Sarkozy has the advantage heading into the May 6 runoff. Results from the Interior Ministry early Monday, based on all polling stations except those voting in embassies overseas, had Sarkozy first with 31.1 percent followed by Royal with 25.8 percent. Turnout was huge at 84.6 percent — the highest in more than 40 years and just shy of the record set in 1965.
Either way, France will get its first president with no memory of World War II to replace the 74-year-old Jacques Chirac, who is stepping down after 12 years to usher in a new generation of candidates.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Save $84.50 a year off our newsstand price:
Subscribe today for only 38 cents a day!