French PM re-elected in Parliamentary elections
Paris: French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault was re-elected in the first round of Parliamentary elections held Sunday, media reported.
Ayrault, a socialist politician, had been appointed as Prime Minister after Francois Hollande won the Presidential election in mid-May. The latter told ministers that anyone failing to win the legislative election would have to leave the government, Xinhua reported.
The 62-year-old Ayrault has sat in the Parliament since 1986 and headed the Socialists' group in the National Assembly, or the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of France, since 1997. He has served as mayor of France's sixth largest city of Nantes since 1989.
The Socialist Party (PS, left) had adopted the principle of non- dual mandate, which states that "parliamentarians will not earn their mandate and function with the responsibility of a local executive." To comply with this principle, Ayrault said that the City Council of Nantes would meet before the end of June to elect a new Mayor.
According to French media reports, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was also re-elected in the first round.
French election system rules that any candidate obtaining over 50 percent in the first round of vote will be elected outright as the member of parliament. Otherwise, those gaining at least 12.5 percent of the first-round votes are qualified to enter the second round where the highest scorer wins.
On the right-wing side, former prime minister Francois Fillon and the Secretary General of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP, center-right), Jean-Francois Cope, were qualified for the second round, which will take place on June 17.
About 46 million French voters went to the polls to elect 577 deputies of the National Assembly. Some 6,611 candidates are registered.