French president-elect, Nicholas Sarkozy has left Paris for a few days seclusion after the rigours of beating Socialist party candidate Segolene Royal. He is said to be heading for the sun to recharge his batteries, and set about the task of building his government. Although he pointedly refused to give any clues about the identity of any future prime minister during the campaign, those close to him believe he has already got it worked out.
Headlines in the French press reflected the divisions Sarkozy now has to overcome. Some hailed “The Brilliant Victory”, and “ A big majority for big reform.” While those on the left warned that Sarkozy could be a version of Margaret Thatcher, but without the petticoats. This is the third successive right-wing Presidency and a deluge of reforms is promised in the first hundred days.
At the celebrations in the Place de la Concorde in Paris, Sarkozy was flanked by Francois Fillon, a key organiser of the campaign and the man tipped to be named as Sarkozy’s Prime Minister. “I want to say, I will be the President who fights injustice,” Sarkozy told supporters. “I will give everyone opportunities, but in my view, you cannot have rights without responsibilities.”
Attention is now focused on the period leading up to his taking office. Political commentators have no doubt that whatever happens in his sun-kissed hideaway, as a man who detests being unprepared, Sarkozy has already planned his next moves.