Sunday, 13 May 2012

Socialist Francois Hollande Send Nicolas Sarkozy Parking in French Presidential Election

Nicolas Sarkozy was sent parking on Sunday by Socialist Francois Hollande in France presidential election to become France’s next president. Hollande’s victory at the polls will bring a shift of how France is going to react to Europe debt crisis and how it flexes its military prowess and diplomatic muscles around the world.
Place de la Bastille, the iconic plaza of the French Revolution was filled to capacity by exuberant, diverse crowds to celebrate the victory of Hollande. There was an array of banters including several French, European and labour unions flags and climbing the column that rises at its centre. To the Leftists, it was all joy to see their own take over power after a long wait after Socialist Francois Mitterrand from 1981 to 1995.

Hollande in his victory speech declared that austerity can no longer be inevitable after a surprising victory over Sarkozy after a campaign that turned him from an unremarkable, mild figure into an unassuming statesman.

Analysts believed that defeat of Sarkozy at the polls is another result of voters anger at government spending cuts across Europe which have made several governments and leaders causalities and many more are likely to follow suit unless something is done fast on the economic issues plaguing Europe.

France is not alone in this voters’ disapproval of governments’ spending cuts. In Greece, an oncoming parliamentary vote is another test for the country’s government in a bit to pull out of an abysmal financial crisis felt in the world markets. Similarly, local election in Italy and state election in Germany has proven to be acid tests for national government policies.

At the campaigns, Hollande promised to bring hope to France’s downtrodden as a result of Sarkozy’s government policies. Many voters accused Sarkozy as being too friendly with the rich and blame him for their economic troubles.

In a speech after his victory at the polls, Hollande call on France’s European partners not to be frightened by his presidency but to be relieved by it. He told the crowds of his supporters in his electoral fiefdom of Tulle in central France that he is proud to be the one to bring hope to his people again.

As Hollande steps into the mantle of leadership, analysts believed that his major worry will be how to handle the economy which is a major driver of the European Union but is in deep debt. They wonder how he is going to correlate his believe for more government stimulus and more government spending despite the market concern for France to urgently trim its huge debt.

Sarkozy conceded defeat by calling on Hollande to wish him “good luck” just minutes after the polls closed. Sarkozy’s problems started from his policies of cutting government spending by budget cuts which made him very unpopular amongst voters and this dealt a very devastating blow on his second term bid to retain it seat in governance. In his speech he declared that he bears responsibility for the defeat, I committed myself totally, full, but I didn’t succeed in convincing a majority of French. … I didn’t succeed in making the values we share win.

The CSA, TNS-Sofres and Ipsos polling agencies predicted Hollande to win. According to the Interior Ministry, with 75 percent of the vote counted, official result showed Hollande with 51.1 percent and Sarkozy 48.9 percent.

Hollande take over the mantle of leadership not later than May 16 and his lack of experience in foreign policies will certainly be his first test after his inauguration. Among some of his international policies assignment that will welcome him upon inauguration is his first trip later this month to the United States for NATO summit where is expected to announce that he will be pulling out French troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year. Another is a visit to Group of Eight leading world economies. He has to deal with Germany in re-negotiating the hard-won European treaty on budget cuts that Germany’s Angela Merkel and Sarkozy had championed for his policies of more government spending to stand. In addition, he has to make good his promise to make his first foreign trip to Berlin to work on Europe’s postwar unity.

After Hollande’s victory at the polls, Germany’s foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle put a call through to him congratulating him and said that France and Germany will keep on cooperating closely in driving the European Union’s policies and be a stabilizing factor and a motor for the European Union.

At home, Hollande intend to review Sarkozy’s reforms on the retirement age. He plans to allow people to retire at 60 instead of Sarkozy’s 62. He has also decided to increase spending in some sectors and also wanted France to move away from its dependence on nuclear energy. He plans to legalize gay marriages and euthanasia.

To Sarkozy’s supporters, Hollande’s presidential proposals are misguided and will mean hell for France rather than good. According to Laetitia Barone, Hollande is now very dangerous to the economy of France and we called on the world to wait for France turning into Greece in months to come.

During the campaign, Sarkozy had said that he will quit politics if he lost, but whether he is going to make good his promise will be determine in days to come. But for now in his speech, it is doubtful if he will. He has called on his supporters to count on him to defend his ideas, convictions.

At the Bastille, there were great celebrations by people of all ages and different ethnicities of Hollande’s victory. Among the happy crowd is a 60-year old Ghylaine Lambrecht who also celebrated the 1981 victory of Mitterrand at this same venue. In her speech, she said, “we had seen enough of Sarko in the past 10 years, referring to Sarkozy’s time as interior and finance minister and his five years as president. According to her it was an era of the rich getting rich and the poor poorer. Now France can look up to an open democratic France.

According to so many people at the Bastille interviewed, they agreed that Hollande may not be perfect but the people of France believed that it is time to give a chance to the left.

1 comment:

  1. "This election was so interesting to me. I read once Sarkozy described as a bold and unashamed virtuoso of political combat. This satire The Conquest tells it all: