Sarkozy France"s President
Right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy scored an emphatic victory in the French presidential election Sunday, trouncing Socialist rival Segolene Royal to win a clear mandate for his tough economic and social reforms.
Wild celebrations erupted among Sarkozy supporters in Paris as soon as polls closed and projections said the 52-year-old former interior minister had around 53 percent of the vote against Royal"s 47 percent.
There was a high turnout estimated at about 85 percent by polling institutes which highlighted the widespread interest in the election of a new generation of French leaders after President Jacques Chirac"s 12 year rule.
Members of the ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) burst into chants of "Nicolas - President!" and hugged each other in joy at the party"s campaign headquarters.
At the Socialist Party headquarters in Paris, supporters gloomily digested a third consecutive presidential defeat after 1995 and 2002.
Royal, who had hoped to become France"s first woman president, told disconsolate supporters she hoped "the next president of the republic will accomplish his mandate for the service of all French people."
Thousands of police reinforcements were deployed in and around the capital to head off the risk of unrest by youths from high immigrants areas, many of whom regard Sarkozy as a hate-figure since riots of 2005.
A supporter of France"s newly-elected President Nicolas Sarkozy celebrates in Marseille.