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France - Regional Elections

Big winner Le Drian to stay on as French defence minister

Jean-Yves Le Drian, who won the regional election in Brittany, will remain France's defence minister.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, who won the regional election in Brittany, will remain France's defence minister. REUTERS/Delmi Alvarez

Jean-Yves Le Drian, who scored one of the biggest victories in the French regional elections held on Sunday, asserted he will be a full time defence minister while at the same time helping his team to lead the region of Brittany.

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Socialist Party candidate Le Drian won a comprehensive majority in the northwestern region of France by garnering almost 52 per cent of the votes, easily beating Marc Le Fur of the Republicans who stood at 30 per cent and the Front National's Gilles Pennelle at 19 per cent.

Speaking on French radio station RTL after his win, Le Drian said that he won’t be a part time defense minister.

“I have a team with me in Rennes (capital of Brittany) that is ready to ensure my duties are complemented. The team helped me during the campaign and they will help me again," he added.

In October, Le Drian had announced that if elected, he would assume the functions of regional president, even leaving the Defense ministry.

However, after the November 13 attacks in Paris, President Francois Hollande had asked him to stay in view of the security context, while hinting that he would combine both functions if elected.

He feels he hasn’t betrayed his constituents by staying on as a minister, thus not focusing exclusively on his responsibilities as president of the region.

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