Sarkozy closes eyes on violence in France and leaves Paris for some rest

French President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy left Paris on Monday for two or three days of rest and to reflect on the formation of his government, aides said.

The 52-year-old Sarkozy, his wife, Cecilia, and son Louis left a Paris hotel at mid-day for an unknown destination following his emphatic victory in the presidential election.

According to Sarkozy’s campaign manager, Claude Gueant, the President-elect will take a few days to rest after the strenuous campaign and “to reflect on the composition of his government.”

Three people have been widely cited as likely to be named prime minister under Sarkozy: former education minister Francois Fillon, current Labour Minister Jean-Louis Borloo and current Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie.

Sarkozy will be sworn in as French president on May 16. His term will run for five years, reports.

Sarkozy left Paris when more than 700 cars were set alight and 600 people arrested in violence that hit cities across France after the presidential election.

Seventy-eight police officers were injured in incidents after Mr Sarkozy’s triumph over the Socialist Segolene Royal in Sunday’s vote.

Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Toulouse and Rennes were among cities hit by violence blamed by police on extreme-left groups, anarchists and apolitical gangs who clashed with police.

A total of 730 cars were burned in the high-immigrant suburbs where Sarkozy is a hated figure for his tough stance on immigration and law and order. Police said a total of 592 people were arrested.

Ms Royal had warned in the run-up to Sunday’s election that a Sarkozy victory could see the country slide into violence and unrest, similar to the rioting that rocked French suburbs in late 2005.

At the height of those riots, about 700 cars were being burned every night in cities across France for about three weeks. These incidents were combined with attacks on public buildings, 300 of which were hi, AFP reports.

Source: agencies

Prepared by Alexander Timoshik

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Author`s name Alex Naumov