High school teacher Jacques Eleonore joined thousands of supporters of Socialist candidate and now president François Hollande outside the Party’s headquarters in Paris this evening, out of conviction that he would win. At 8:00 p.m., when the official announcement was made, he could not contain his joy as he learned that the man he had trusted with his vote had indeed become the leader of France.
“This is the moment we’ve been waiting for! We have made history!” Eleonore screamed, waving a white and red Socialist Party flag while colorful confetti fell from the sky.
For Eleonore, the choice to vote for the Hollande was easy. On one hand, he is a fervent Socialist. He has voted for the Left, “ever since I earned the right to vote.”.
On the other, he expressed his disapproval of exiting president Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign, which he qualified as “hateful” and “disgraceful.”
“In the last weeks of the campaign, he seemed to get too close to the extreme right to gain votes. It was truly shocking to see that. That’s not what France is about” he said, referring to Sarkozy’s appeal to supporters of Marine Le Pen leader of the National Front Party, who is often accused of being “xenophobic.”
Eleonore also believes Sarkozy did not do enough to promote job creation and stabilize the economy.
“I saw too many of my colleagues, many teachers, lose their jobs and that is unacceptable,” he said.
Eleonore says he believes whole-heartedly in the “Change is Now” slogan that Hollande used for his presidential campaign and remains hopeful about a better economy.
Still, he remains cautious about his expectations for the new president.
“I’m not expecting a miracle. But at the very least, I hope for social justice,” Eleonore said.