Sarkozy's Party Loses Ground to Socialists

Parliamentary elections show left is alive, but Sarkozy's majority still solid
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2007 6:34 AM CDT
Socialist Segolene Royal casts her vote in the second round of the French parliamentary election, in Melle, southwestern France, Sunday, June 17, 2007. President Nicolas Sarkozy, aiming to push through...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The French left refused to roll over and play dead in parliamentary elections yesterday, giving Nicolas Sarkozy a smaller majority than expected. Sarkozy's Conservative Party won a strong enough mandate to push through its ambitious tax cuts and easing of labor restrictions, the New York Times reports, but loses some psychological momentum.

Socialists gained about 50 seats in the 577-seat Assembly, most notably defeating Alain Juppé, the minister of Sarkozy's high-profile new department of environment, transportation and energy. He announced that he will step down. Sarkozy has called a special summer session of Parliament to push through reforms while, the Times notes, most of the country is on vacation and disinclined to riot.