Source: News Bharati English21 Nov 2016 12:15:35

France, November 21: On Sunday, Nicolas Sarkozy knocked out of the race after Francois Fillon, a former Prime Minister took a lead in the presidential election for the French centre-right Republican party.

Taking his defeat gracefully Sarkozy said "I have no bitterness, I have no sadness, and I wish the best for my country," in his speech. Francois Fillon said he respected the decision of France to choose "others to lead them".He said he would now retire from public life and wished the French people "luck" for the future.

Francois Fillon secured roughly about 44% of votes which was the huge turn-out."I'm telling all the French, no matter who they voted for, that change is on its way to lift France up," Fillon said.

Juppe, a moderate 71-year-old conservative campaigning on a "happy identity" platform, had for months been ahead in polls for both the primaries and the presidential election. Alain Juppé, another former prime minister, who took 28% of votes, said that, "This first round was a surprise. Next Sunday, if like me you desire it, will be another surprise.”

Mr Juppé also said "I have decided to continue the fight. I believe that more than ever the people of France need to come together", pledging to "to bar the route to the Front National that would drag us on the worst of paths."

The top two candidates in the poll – Mr. Fillon and Alain Juppe – will now go head to head in a runoff vote on 27 November.