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Sarkozy pledges to control immigration, save jobs

Associated Press
French President and UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy leave after casting their votes in the first round of French presidential elections in Paris, France, Sunday, April 22, 2012.  (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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PARIS (AP) — President Nicolas Sarkozy says the results of France's first round of presidential elections show the importance of controlling immigration and saving jobs.

Sarkozy and Socialist challenger Francois Hollande are heading to a runoff May 6 after coming out on top in Sunday's first round of elections.

Anti-immigrant candidate Marine Le Pen came in a surprisingly strong third place.

Sarkozy says he wants to hold three debates before the runoff, one on economic affairs, one on social affairs and one on international affairs.

He said he recognized voters' concerns about jobs and immigration "the concern of our compatriots to preserve their way of life," he told supporters at his campaign headquarters in Paris' Left Bank.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

PARIS (AP) — Socialist Francois Hollande has pledged to cut the country's debt and boost growth as he heads into a presidential election runoff with conservative Nicolas Sarkozy.

Hollande came out on top in the first round of voting Sunday, according to partial official results. He says he has become the candidate "of all the forces who want to turn one page and turn another."

To an exuberant crowd in his hometown of Tulle in southern France, he pledged to unite the French after Sarkozy's divisive first term.

Hollande also expressed concern about the strong third-place showing of far right candidate Marine Le Pen.

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