François Hollande Elected President of the Republic
France has elected a new President of the Republic. François Hollande successfully campaigned against the incumbent, President Nicolas Sarkozy.
In the country’s two-round Presidential voting process, French citizens cast ballots for Mr. Hollande, Mr. Sarkozy and eight other candidates. The first round, held on Sunday, April 22, saw the President-elect emerge from the field as the leader with 28.6 percent of the vote. Mr. Sarkozy earned second place with 27.2 percent.
When the second round took place on Sunday, May 6, Mr. Hollande’s final tally of 51.6 percent put him over the critical 50-percent threshold to win the office. Mr. Sarkozy earned 48.4 percent.
The Constitutional Council, the country’s highest legal body which holds final authority in verifying voting results, released definitive numbers on May 10 to confirm that Mr. Hollande will assume the nation’s highest office. Mr. Sarkozy will remain in office until May 15, and power will be transferred formally via the traditional passation de pouvoirs.
In a show of national unity just after the elections, the current and soon-to-be Presidents appeared together at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on May 8 to commemorate the anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. On that day in 1945, World War II was declared officially over.
Mr. Hollande’s first trip outside of Europe will bring him to the United States, when beginning on May 18 he will travel first to Washington for a working meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and the G8 Summit, then to Chicago to participate in the NATO Summit on May 20 and 21. The conference will bring together more than 60 heads of state and their delegations to discuss "security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area," according to the organization’s website.
For more information on the 2012 Presidential election, its results, and what’s next, please visit http://www.franceintheus.org.