Hollande Ousts Sarkozy

Socialist candidate François Hollande has ousted Nicolas Sarkozy from the French presidency in the elections held yesterday.
Hollande is the first left-wing candidate to be elected president in almost 20 years. Sarkozy was the most unpopular president ever to run for reelection in French history. It is the first time an incumbent has lost the election since 1981.

Problems with public debt, the euro crisis, the recession, and more all blamed for Sarkozy’s defeat. Many have viewed him as a “president for the rich”, not a liable that a Politian wants, especially during a recession. However Sarkozy said “I carry all of the responsibility for this defeat” at a party meeting after the election results were released.

Turnout in the election and has been recorded to be around 81%, however, that is lower than the turnout in the election 5 years ago where 84% of voters showed up. Hollande managed to garner about 51.6% of the vote. Hollande promised less austerity measures than his opponent as the French grow tired from their shrinking government support. Hollande declare “Austerity need not be Europe’s fate.” Even so, Hollande promises that he will have a balanced budget within the next 5 years, achieve mainly though tax hikes. The French followed the path of the Greeks, who voted last week for other anti-austerity candidates.

Sarkozy proposed that the French achieve a fiscal balance for the most part by cutting programs. Hollande has proposed new taxes to help keep the sizable French state sustainable. He has proposed raising the tax rate on those earning more than a million a year to 75% and also increasing the tax on corporations.

This election marks the defeat of the arguably the most “pro-American” French President to date. Sarkozy reentered the NATO wars in Afghanistan, joining in on US efforts in Libya and worked with German Chancellor, Angela Merkle to help reign in Euro-zone public debt. While Hollande promises to continue the partnership with Germany and balance the budget, troops will likely be pulled out of Afghanistan within the next months.

Hollande will officially gain the presidential seat as soon as May 14, when he will have to embark on two important diplomatic missions right away: The Group of 8 meeting on May 17-18 and the NATO summit from May 19-20.