After winning the French Socialists Party’s (PS) ticket for the upcoming elections in May 2012, Francois Hollande said Sunday that his win was a great victory for democracy.
Hollande, 75, a lawmaker and a local council president, beat 61-year-old Martine Aubry, a former Labor Minister, with more than 56 percent of the vote.
“I note with pride and responsibility the vote tonight, which gives me the large majority I had sought,” Hollande told supporters in party headquarters as results rolled in.
Hollande added that his clear victory gave him “strength and legitimacy” going into the presidential campaign and said his priority would be to give the next generation of French a better life than their parents.
The party leader promised, if elected, to address unemployment and the rising cost of living, while also tackling France’s high public debt levels, and what he called the ‘excesses of globalization’ and the “inadequacy of Europe” in the face of the current financial crisis.
For her part, Aubry conceded defeated before the final results were announced and called on the party to rally around Hollande.
She also announced she would resume being party leader after having taken leave of the post while she ran for the presidential nomination.
Four other candidates, including Segolene Royal, Hollande’s former partner, who lost the 2007 election to Sarkozy, were knocked out in the first round on October 9.
Earlier, according preliminary results showed Hollande at the lead with 56.48 percent of the votes while his closest rival Martine Aubry got 43.52 percent.