French Socialists win Parliament majority

June 17, 2012 at 9:21 PM
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PARIS, June 17 (UPI) -- French voters Sunday sent a Socialist majority into office in the country's lower house parliamentary elections, officials said.

French broadcaster France 24 reported exit polls showed the Socialist Party won 300 seats in the National Assembly. The center-right Union for a Popular Movement garnered 207 seats. The Ipsos polling agency said it appeared the Greens had won 18 seats and the communist-allied Left Front 13, France 24 said.

With the Senate already in the Socialist column, the party's victory in the lower house gives President Francois Hollande's party an absolute majority as he pursues his economic agenda. Hollande wants to raise taxes on the country's highest earners and increase spending on education and other public sectors.

"Our parliamentary democracy will be restored," Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said, while adding, the "voice of the opposition" would be heard.

UPM leader Jean-Francois Cope promised his party would be a "responsible but vigilant opposition" in the National Assembly.

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