French Cities Shift Parties as Sarkozy Loses Favor French voters have delivered a blow to President Nicolas Sarkozy. In a second round of municipal elections, opposition socialists took the leadership of dozens of French cities away from Sarkozy's Conservative party. The left says the vote is a repudiation for Sarkozy's failed policies.
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French Cities Shift Parties as Sarkozy Loses Favor

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French Cities Shift Parties as Sarkozy Loses Favor

French Cities Shift Parties as Sarkozy Loses Favor

French Cities Shift Parties as Sarkozy Loses Favor

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/88384752/88384747" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

French voters have delivered a blow to President Nicolas Sarkozy. In a second round of municipal elections, opposition socialists took the leadership of dozens of French cities away from Sarkozy's Conservative party. The left says the vote is a repudiation for Sarkozy's failed policies.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Eleanor Beardsley has this report.

(SOUNDBITE OF FRENCH TV BROADCAST)

ELEANOR BEARDSLEY: The right is playing down the results. Patrick Devedjian is secretary general of Sarkozy's UNP Party.

M: (French spoken)

BEARDSLEY: Franz-Olivier Giesbert, publisher of La Point magazine, says the election was not about Sarkozy's policies. It was all personal.

M: The real problem is his personality. People in France, they thought that they had elected a new Kennedy. Sarkozy was so charismatic during the campaign. But since he's elected, he really acted like a Tom Cruise, I would say. We say in French bling-bling. In English you would say show-off. And I think the French electors, they wanted to finish him. And that's what they did yesterday.

BEARDSLEY: The post-municipal election era could mark the beginning of a new phase in Sarkozy's presidency, if not in substance at least in style. For NPR News, I'm Eleanor Beardsley in Paris.

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