Socialist Francois Hollande edged ahead of incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in a runoff election Sunday to claim the French presidency.
Sarkozy conceded defeat when more than two-thirds of ballots counted showed his rival ahead 50.8 percent versus 49.2 percent. Eighty percent of voters cast ballots.
Sarkozy also trailed Hollande in the first round of voting on April 22, getting 27 percent of the vote. Hollande got more than 28 percent.
Hollande's victory ushers the Socialists back to power for the first time since Francois Mitterand in 1995. Hollande told cheering supporters in Tulle, in central France, that he is capable of giving the French people hope.
Meanwhile, Sarkozy became the latest addition to the list of European Union leaders booted out of office due to the eurozone economic crisis. He also became only the second French president after Valéry Giscard d'Estaing to fail reelection and a second term.
Hollande campaigned for hiring of more education system workers, the lowering of the retirement age from 62 to 60, higher taxes for the wealthy and voting rights for foreigners.
Hollande is scheduled to be sworn in on May 15.
Hollande Beats Sarkozy, Claims French Presidency
Socialist Francois Hollande defeated conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy to become France's next president. CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reports
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