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Sarkozy loses in France, but wins in Israel
French president narrowly loses in first round of presidential election, but wins big among French nationals in Jewish state

French President Nicolas Sarkozy may have lost in the first round of France's presidential election, but he has certainly won the support of French nationals residing in Israel.

 

Roughly 82% of French citizens who cast their ballots in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheba, Afula, Ashdod and Netanya on Sunday voted for Sarkozy. The conservative president's Socialist challenger, Francois Hollande, received only 7.5% of votes cast in the Jewish state, while far-right candidate Marine Le Pen came in third.

 

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In France, Hollande appeared to head into the May 6 second round with the upper hand after narrowly edging the Sarkozy, according to near-complete official results.

 

In the campaign's biggest surprise, nearly one in five voters chose Le Pen instead, handing her a solid third place and a chance to weigh in on French politics with her anti-immigration platform that targets France's millions of Muslims.

 

With 93% of the vote counted, Hollande had 28.4% of the ballots cast and Sarkozy 27%, according to figures released by France's Interior Ministry.

 

Le Pen was in third with 18.3% of the vote so far, the best showing ever by the far right National Front party founded by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen.

 

Turnout was also surprisingly high, at more than 80%, despite concern that a campaign focusing on nostalgia for a more protected past would fail to inspire voters.

 

AP contributed to the report

 

 

 


First published: 04.23.12, 09:47
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