Center-right candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has won a convincing victory in the Presidential race in France. Sarkozy beat Socialist Ségolène Royal by a convincing margin of nearly 6% in an election where turnout was a massive 85% of the electorate.
There is no doubt that President Sarkozy enjoys a rather substantial mandate from the French people, and he has promised to reform France’s battered economy, get tough on the out of control crime in the banlieues of Paris, and work to ensure that France once again becomes an important player on the world stage. It may be a difficult task for him to achieve, but he shows the right attitude in dealing with the many problems that currently plague the French state.
He also reached out to the United States in his acceptance speech, stating that France would be an ally to the United States, but also saying that he hoped that the US would be more aggressive in fighting global warming.
Sarkozy is a step in the right direction for France, but he will have to fight an incestuous political culture, unions which can cripple the country if they don’t get what they want, and an economy that has been chronically mismanaged for years. However, he does have the right spirit of reform, which gives France an opportunity to reobtain the greatness that they’ve lost over the years.
Glenn Reynolds, as always, has a large selection of links on the Sarkozy victory. The excellent French blog No Pasaran also has in-depth coverage of the protests reacting to Sarkozy’s win. Sarkozy has promised to crack down on the criminal culture in Paris — and those criminals are not happy about that even though they’re one of the largest reasons why Sarkozy won.