Socialist Party leader Francois Hollande defeated conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday to become France’s new president, heralding a change in how Europe tackles its debt crisis and how France exercises its military and diplomatic muscle around the world. The inexperienced Mr Hollande is now seeking talks with the European Central Bank and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to demand further borrowing to boost growth.
Partial official results, with about half of the nationwide votes counted, showed Hollande with 50.8% compared with 49.2% for Sarkozy. The result marked a clear although not overwhelming margin by the standards of recent French presidential elections. Hollande’s former partner and mother of his four children, Segolene Royal, said she has a “feeling of profound joy to see millions and millions of French renew the tie to the left.”
Francois Hollande and his former partner separated around the time Segolene Royal ran for president in 2007. His current girlfriend Valerie Trierweiler is a journalist on the magazine Paris Match.
France’s new president Francois Hollande and his girlfriend Valerie Trierweiler visit the market in Tulle, southwestern France, on the eve of the presidential election second round.
Former Socialist party leader François Hollande and his partner Valérie Trierweiler leave the polling station in Tulle, central France, on Sunday, May 6, 2012.
The couple have lived together since 2007 but have not married and have no children.
Valerie Trierweiler is 47 years old and she has been divorced twice.
The mother of three teenage boys once said she undoubtedly would have to abandon journalism if Hollande was elected president.