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Xinhhua: Sarkozy's party suffers losses in local elections

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Sarkozy's party suffers losses in local elections

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's right-wing party suffered considerable losses in local elections that concluded Sunday, as the opposition Socialists won several major cities including Paris. The first round of the vote was conducted on March 9, with Sunday's being the second or final round.The left-wing Socialist Party gained control of Paris, the country's third largest city Lyon, as well as Strasbourg and Toulouse. However, Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) won the second largest city Marseille to save itself from complete humiliation in the nationwide vote. The elections were widely regarded as the first major test of popularity for Sarkozy, who defeated Socialist Segolene Royal in last May's presidential elections.

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