|As the last polling stations were closed in France, the news
agency AFP announced the results of the presidential election.
Based on the preliminary vote count the conservative party candidate
Nicolas Sarkozy has won with the wide margin over the socialist
Segolene Royal. This French elections were unique by many counts.
Over eighty five percent of voters turned to cast their votes - the
record voter turnout for all the history of the French elections.
For the first time ever, a woman candidate made it to the second round
of the elections. For the third time in a row, the French Socialist
Party suffered a bitter defeat. The second round brought Sarkozy over
53% of votes, compared to about 47% for Ms Royal.
Many analysts say this election, especially the second round, was not
so much about Segolene Royal, but basically a vote for or against
After the results were announced French police had to deploy several units in
the center of Paris to block riots against the Nicolas victory. The
rioters consisted mainly of supporters of defeated Segolene Royal.
They gathered near Place de la Bastille with sticks and stones to
demonstrate their anger over the results of the election.
United States congratulated Sarkozy with the victory and consider this
a favorable election result for the French - American relations.
Nicolas said that America can count on him and France as friends.
In his victory speech he reiterated that he will be the president of all the French
and will represent their interests domestically as well as on the
international arena. Some Americans compare Sarkozy to Napoleon Bonaparte, despite little visual resemblance with the great French emperor.
On May 17, Nicolas Sarkozy appointed his close associate François Fillon who held ministerial posts during the second term of Jacques Chirac as prime-minister of France. On May 18, Fillon appointed the government, that included former Prime Minister Alain Juppé (as Minister of State), he left-wing founder of Médecins Sans Frontières Bernard Kouchner (as Foreign Minister), and several ministers of Villepin's cabinet, including Michele Alliot-Marie, who headed the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
In June 2007 the French parliamentary election ended with a solid majority for President Sarkozy, however it gained less seats than it was expected. Moreover, Alain Juppé who was not elected as deputy had to resign.
As president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy established a number of commissions and advisory committees, designed to solve a variety of domestic and economic issues, in fall 2007 not less than 16 commissions were asked to release reports – this was a unique event in the history of the Fifth republic.
In October-November 2007 a number of demonstrations and strikes occurred across France, (particularly large-scale was transport workers strike) which soon grew into unrest in the Paris suburbs, compared in terms of the scale to the events of 2005.
During his first foreign visit (on the day of his inauguration) in his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Sarkozy called Germany for increased cooperation.
The top priority of Sarkozy's foreign policy is Europe, and the European Union in particular. It was Sarkozy who became one of the authors and active supports of the Lisbon Treaty, designed to amend the Treaty establishing the European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community which has replaced the project of the European constitution, rejected in a referendums in France and Netherlands in May – June 2005. According to Paris officials, the treaty signed on December 13, 2007, on the one hand helps the EU be more ambitious in various fields, on the other hand, it takes into account the opinion of French and the Netherlands people. Nevertheless, the character of the Treaty, as well as the way of its ratification (by the French parliament, gathered in Congress on February 8, 2008) arouses lively debates in French society and among politicians. Sarkozy also proposed to develop a new European Security Strategy to replace the one adopted in December 2003 (Sarkozy started the process of developing a new White Paper on national Defence and Security to replace the 1994 White paper). Sarkozy’s plans for a French return to NATO integrated military command are widely discussed, however this is not stipulated either by the development of the European Union Defense Initiatives or by the Alliance reform.
Free and independent Kosovo:
In June 2007 Sarkozy attended the annual summit of the Group of Eight held in Germany, he openly spoke in favor of independence for Kosovo.
France recognized Kosovo on February 2008, the day after its declaration of independence. Herewith, Paris intends to establish good relations with Kosovo and Serbia, and sees European perspective of both countries.
South Ossetia crisis:
Sarkozy as president of France and Chairman of the European Union, has contributed into the peaceful resolution of the military conflict in South Ossetia in 2008, having visited Moscow and Tbilisi he agreed with Dmitry Medvedev on the key points of the peace agreement known as "Medvedev-Sarkozy plan", which was subsequently signed by the presidents of Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.|