Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Sarkozy out of Race to Regain Office; Former French President Concedes Defeat

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Sarkozy out of Race to Regain Office; Former French President Concedes Defeat

Article excerpt

Byline: CAROLINE MORTIMER THE INDEPENDENT

NICOLAS Sarkozy has been knocked out of the French presidential race after finishing third in the primary to pick the centre-right's candidate.

With more than 90% of votes counted, former French prime minister Francois Fillon topped the poll with 44.2%, ahead of another former PM, Alain Juppe, on 28.4% and Mr Sarkozy on 20.7%.

Mr Fillon and Mr Juppe qualified for the second round run-off to decide who should be France's conservative presidential candidate, dashing ex-president Mr Sarkozy's hopes for re-election.

Mr Sarkozy has conceded defeat and the run-off vote will be held on November 27.

The winner is expected to have a strong chance of victory in next year's presidential election because traditional rivals on the left have been weakened by Socialist Francois Hollande's troubled presidency.

Partly due to those troubles, polls have consistently shown that the leader of the far-right Front National, Marine Le Pen, will make it to the final round of presidential voting and likely be the opponent for either Mr Fillon or Mr Juppe. …

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