FRENCH GOVT HUMILIATED IN POLL

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PARIS: France’s socialist government suffered the indignity of a first-round exit in a parliamentary by-election to replace a disgrace minister forced out over a tax-dodging scandal. Former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac, who is facing charges of tax fraud, stepped down from his parliamentary seat in April. In Sunday’s by-election for his seat in Lot-et-Garonne, southwest France, the socialist candidate was pushed into third place—and thus eliminated. The second-round run-off on June 23 will be fought between a candidate from the center-right UMP party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy; and a member of the far-right National Front.

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