PARIS (Combined Sources)—French Socialist candidate Francois Hollande beat incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy during Sunday’s elections.
With 95 per cent of the vote counted, official results showed Hollande with 51.6 per cent of the vote compared with Sarkozy’s 48.4 per cent, the Interior Ministry said. The turnout was a strong 81 per cent.
Hollande’s win signals a popular shift in Europe as the Continent has struggled with the Global Economic Crisis.
On the Armenian front, both Hollande and Sarkozy pledged that they would introduce new legislation that would criminalize the denial of the Armenian Genocide after the country’s high court deemed a bill approved by both houses of the parliament to be unconstitutional.
The Armenian community was embroiled in a campaign for the bill for most of the beginning of 2012, with each candidate expressing support for this measure.
Both Hollande and Sarkozy joined thousands of French-Armenians last month to mark the Armenian Genocide anniversary and both urged Turkey to recognize the slaughter of some 1.5 million Armenians as genocide. They also said that a new bill making it a crime to deny that the massacres constituted genocide would be brought before the French parliament already in June.
During his address during the Genocide commemoration, Hollande said he would make sure that the new law is drafted with “utmost legal security” in order to ensure its approval by the country’s highest court. “We can no longer commit an imprecision that would again leave us with the impossibility of having the text validated,” he said.
Hollande is scheduled to take office on May 15.