|Date: 09/05/2012 Time: 04:21:00 PM
French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday
presided over his last Cabinet meeting before he officially leaves office on
May 15 and the government is expected to resign on Thursday, Cabinet sources
There were few items for discussion at the last session but Sarkozy was
informed of the final tally of last Sunday's election which saw him voted out
Interior Minister Claude Gueant, a close ally of Sarkozy, indicated that
Socialist opponent and now President-elect, Francois Hollande, had garnered
over 18 million votes, or 51.63 percent of the total, compared with 16.9
million votes for Sarkozy, or 48.37 percent. About 46 million people are
registered to vote in metropolitan France and in holdings and territories
Voter turnout was higher than expected May 6 at just over 80.3 percent, the
Interior Minister said.
All ministers present Wednesday praised the outgoing president and
enthusiastically applauded him for his tenure over the past five years.
Most ministers will now begin preparing for the legislative elections in
June, with the hopes of getting a majority that could counter-balance the new
Socialist leader of France.
Sarkozy has said that he will no longer compete in the high-profile
political arena and he will not run for legislative office. Close ally and
Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has also decided not to run for parliament.
The outgoing president could sit on the Constitutional Council like his
predecessors or he may resume his career as a lawyer. Juppe said he will
return to local politics in the south-western city of Bordeaux, where he is
A care-taker government will be formed by Hollande until the legislative
elections, when he will form a permanent Cabinet if the Socialists and their
allies get a parliamentary majority in the 577-member National Assembly, or
The left already controls the Senate, or upper house, and Socialist
Jean-Pierre Bel is president of that legislative body.