Bloomberg News

French Senate Elects Jean-Pierre Bel First Socialist President

October 02, 2011

Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The French Senate elected Socialist Jean-Pierre Bel as president after the country’s main opposition party took control of the upper house for the first time in the 53-year history of the Fifth Republic.

Bel, 59, was elected with 179 votes in the first round while Gerard Larcher, the outgoing president, obtained 134 votes and Valerie Letard, a centrist senator, got 29 votes, according to the Senate’s website late yesterday.

The Senate’s president represents France’s upper house, organizing and leading its debates, according to its website. The leader also has a role in guaranteeing the country’s “continuity” and carries out the functions of the president of the Republic if vacancy or impediment is established by France’s constitutional court.

--Editors: Torrey Clark, Alex Nicholson

To contact the reporter on this story: Fabio Benedetti-Valentini in Paris at fabiobv@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net.


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