PARIS - President Nicolas Sarkozy's right-wing party won an absolute
majority in the French parliament on Sunday, taking 314 out of 577
seats in the National Assembly, final official results showed.
The main opposition Socialist Party fared better than expected,
taking 185 seats, a big gain compared to their previous 149, definitive
interior ministry figures showed. The UMP lost 45 seats compared to the
Turnout for the decisive second round vote was 59.99 percent,
almost the same as in round one last week, but far short of the near
85-percent turnout in the April-May presidential vote.
The UMP's allies including the New Centre took 22 seats, while nine went to fringe right-wing groups.
Other left-wing parties picked up 41 seats between them, with 15 going to the Communist Party and four to the Green Party.
The nationalist Movement for France took one seat, but the main far-right National Front won no seats.
Defeated presidential candidate Francois Bayrou took one of the
three seats won by his new centrist party, the Democratic Movement.
- AFP /ls