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France holds two-round elections for its lower house

Saturday 12 May 2012

France holds two-round elections for its lower house, the National Assembly, on June 10 and 17. Polls show Hollande’s Socialists and their left-wing allies winning some 44% of the seats; the center-right UMP, 36.5%. The Left already controls the upper house, the Senate.

Control of both houses would allow Hollande’s Socialists to implement their vow to impose punitive taxes on the wealthy, hire 60,000 teachers (all Socialist stalwarts, of course), reject the EU austerity pact, boost spending and return the minimum retirement age to 60 from 62.

Meanwhile, the UMP faces questions of life and death. The party was cobbled together from four center-right parties made up of Gaullists, Liberal Gaullists, Liberal Radicals and Christian Conservatives.

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