France votes. Sarzoky wins, no Le Pen cyclone

UMP 31%,FN 14.70%. Podemos fares well in Spain

23 March, 10:52

    Nicolas Sarkozy and Marine Le Pen Nicolas Sarkozy and Marine Le Pen

    (ANSAmed) - PARIS, MARCH 23 - The latest results - still partial - released in France by the interior ministry for local elections saw the centre-right UMP-UDI come first with 29.51% of the vote, followed by FN with 24.9% and the Socialist party with 21%. Final results are expected later in the day.

    Vote counting is proceeding slowly - the first-past-the-post system creates a situation where vote counting doesn't match victories in departments and the unprecedented system of voting a woman-man duo makes obtaining the final result even more complicated.

    Meanwhile Marine Le Pen's Front National did not get a whopping result but was a leading antagonist for the Socialists in government and the right of Nicolas Sarkozy, the protagonist of a comeback in local elections.

    From Andalusia, the ''indignados'' of Podemos obtained an important result, winning 15% of the vote in their debut on the national scenario.

    The Socialists of Psoe, who have been governing the region for 33 years, won - just one step from absolute majority - with outgoing President Susan Diaz who could vie to become the next Spanish premier in the fall for some. The issue of an unprecedented election - from cantons to departments under a reform that redesigned French territory - led to even more uncertain exit polls than usual.

    The only certainty was the victory, which was in no way taken for granted, of the centre-right alliance between the UMP of Nicolas Sarkozy and UDI. Marine Le Pen looked set to come in second, although surveys had forecast that the socialists would come in second. In such a case, said the blonde leader, ''we have become the top party in France'', given that UMP-UDI is an occasional coalition. As far as the socialists are concerned, Premier Manuel Valls immediately hailed the fact that ''the Front National is not the first party in France'', just 10 minutes after the first exit poll was released. He also stressed that he was satisfied because he had ''personally worked'' for the result, but maybe he was too much in a rush to make the statement. Le Pen was asking for his resignation ''already tonight'', hailing the result of her party in many departments.

    The Front National was starting from zero locally and in at least four-five cantons it already has a local councilor elected in the first round of the vote. Speaking ahead of the run-off in a week, Valls did not hesitate to side with the traditional ''republican front'', an alliance with the center-right to halt the National front, when possible.

    Sarkozy just ruled out any local or national alliance with the far-right. In Andalusia, the first electoral test of the year in Spain, the Psoe fared very well but Podemos, and a little less the centrists with Ciudadanos, followed closely. The socialists confirmed good results obtained in 2012, but will have to seek an alliance after they fell short of obtaining an absolute majority by seven-eight missing seats.

    The Popular party lost as many as 17 seats. Podemos, with a significant result in its debut on the national scenario, conquered about 15% of the vote, the centrist Ciudadanos, born 10 years ago as a unionist entity in Catalonia, became the fourth largest party with some 9% of the vote. (ANSAmed)

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

    Business opportunities

    The information system of business
    opportunities abroad

    News from Mediterranean