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France

Far right lose critical town hall election

©

Video by Florence VILLEMINOT , FRANCE 3

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-06

France's far-right National Front party lost a chance Sunday to win its first town council in more than a decade when it came second in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont, losing to a candidate backed by mainstream parties from right and left.

AFP - France's far-right National Front party lost a chance Sunday to take its first town council in more than a decade.
  
Jean-Marie Le Pen's party list seemed poised to win the northern town of Henin-Beaumont, after a convincing victory in the first round of voting.
  
But in the second round Sunday left-wing candidate Daniel Duquenne won the town hall, defeating the National Front's Steeve Briois
  
Duquenne took 52.38 percent of the vote to defeat Briois, on 47.62 percent, according to figures from local authorities.
  
The National Front said later they would contest the result.
  
The winning candidate was attacked by a group and sprayed with teargas as he left a party celebrating his victory late Sunday.
  
Henin-Beaumont has not had a mayor since April after the incumbent Socialist was charged with embezzling four million euros (5.6 million dollars), nepotism and other offences.
  
The National Front has not won control of a town hall in France since local elections in 1995 gave its candidates several councils in the south.
  
Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has several past convictions for racism and anti-semitism, shocked Europe in 2002 by coming in second in the French presidential election.

Date created : 2009-07-06

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