May 6 - Francois Hollande beats French president Nicolas Sarkozy by at least three percentage points with the majority of votes counted. Deborah Gembara reports.
Francois Hollande swept to victory in France's presidential election on Sunday ---- beating Nicolas Sarkozy by at least three percentage points with the majority of votes counted. Hollande's win over the incumbent signals a swing to the left for the country and ends 17 years of conservative leadership. Beaming, he addressed his supporters in Tulle. SOUNDBITE: Francois Hollande saying (French): "Before you, I engage myself to serve my country with the devotion and the exemplary (leadership) that this post demands. I understand responsibilities of the job and, as such, I give a republican salute to Nicolas Sarkozy who has led France for 5 years and who deserves all of our respect. I express my profound gratitude to all who, through their vote made this victory possible." He also pledged to pull the country out of crisis while safeguarding access to health and education. Jubilant left-wingers celebrated in Tulle, and thronged Paris's Bastille square. Deborah Gembara, Reuters.