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Jun 11,2007
Conservatives win big in France
by UPI

PARIS - The first round of voting in France's parliamentary elections has given a huge majority to the party of conservative President Nicholas Sarkozy.

With only 60 percent of eligible voters turning out at the polls, Sarkozy's UMP party placed first in up to 75 percent of constituencies, Voice of America reported.

If those results are repeated in the next round of voting June 17, Sarkozy will have the backing he needs to implement his program of economic reform for France.

Among the reforms he favors are changes in the 35-hour work week, tax cuts and rules that set minimum service during a strike for necessary public services like trains and subways.

The voter turnout of 60 percent is thought to be the lowest in the history of the Fifth Republic, Voice of America said.

Shortly after the results were announced, Sarkozy's rival in the presidential election, Segolene Royal, pleaded with supporters to cast ballots in the next round of voting.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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