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EP election results reflect mixed feelings among Europeans

English.news.cn   2014-05-26 14:11:27

BEIJING, May 26 (Xinhua) -- The European Parliament (EP) elections have seen contrasting results among member states, with pro-European parties and Euroskeptics winning in different countries, reflecting mixed feelings and concerns among Europeans.

Hostile to the European Union (EU) and immigration, France's far-right National Party had a sweeping victory with 26 percent of the vote, sharply up from 6.34 percent in 2009 elections to the EP.

The unprecedented score paves the way for 23 to 25 far-rightists among the 74 French representatives to sit in the EP, who are expected to propose tough measures to preserve sovereignty of the EU member countries and to play hard to contain immigration.

In Britain, the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which wants Britain to pull out of the EU, scored over 29 percent of the vote after results from three quarters of the regions were counted, leading the Conservatives of Prime Minister David Cameron by five percentage points.

The score promises UKIP 22 seats in the EP, after nine of the 12 regions had declared results, with more seats possibly to come. The Conservatives have won 16 seats and the main opposition Labour Party 14 seats, with 23.5 percent of the vote.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said Sunday that "up until now, European integration always seemed to be inevitable and I think that inevitability will end with this result tonight."

Cameron has promised to hold a referendum on Britain's EU membership if he wins the next general election in 2015.

In Hungary, the ruling conservative Fidesz-KDNP, an increasingly Euroskeptic party, was the outright winner of the elections on Sunday, garnering 51.49 percent of the vote, which means 12 of Hungary's 21 seats in the EP.

The far-right Jobbik Party came in second, with less than 15 percent of the vote, giving it three seats. Jobbik's Gabor Vona interpreted the country's record low turnout of 28.92 percent as voter disillusionment with the EU.

However, pro-European parties are successful in several other countries.

The center-left Democratic Party in Italy is in the firm lead in Sunday's elections, according to initial projections released early Monday.

The party of pro-European Prime Minister Matteo Renzi gained 41.2 percent of the vote in the competition for Italy's 73 seats in the EP.

Germany's conservatives led by Chancellor Angela Merkel have emerged as the biggest winner with the largest share of 36.1 percent of the vote.

While German Euroskeptic Party of Alternative fuer Deutschland, which wants powers to be handed back to national parliaments, scored 6.5 percent and secured seats in their first European Parliament elections.

A total of 96 seats were allocated to Germany as it is the largest member state of the EU.

In the Netherlands, the Christian Democrats have become the country's biggest party in the EP with five seats, surprisingly beating the Euroskeptic Party for Freedom, which got four seats, Dutch broadcaster NOS reported Sunday night.

The turnout rate was 37 percent in the Netherlands, roughly the same with five years ago.

In the Czech Republic, political parities that ran on pro-European platforms have won.

ANO, a party that rose to prominence just last year, is the biggest winner with 16.13 percent of the vote, followed by TOP 09 and the Social Democratic Party.

The three parties obtain four seats each in the EP out of the possible 21 seats available to the Czech Republic, a success for pro-European parties in a country known for Euroskeptic politicians, such as former President Vaclav Klaus.

ANO's tight victory came amid a record low turnout of 18.2 percent, which reflects a loss of enthusiasm for the main parties and the Czech people's relative disinterest in, and distrust of European-level politics.

The EP elections were held in 28 member countries over the weekend. The 751 seats in the legislature are allocated in proportion to the size of each member state.

Editor: Fu Peng
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