Francois Hollande, an opposition leader of the French Socialist Party, was elected France’s new president with more than 80 percent of ballots counted, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant said.
With 98.89 percent of ballots counted, Sarkozy got 48.33 percent of the vote, while Hollande was supported by 51.67 percent.
“On behalf of the government I congratulate the new president of the republic and wish him successful service to the benefit of France,” Gueant said.
Sarkozy, the incumbent French president, has already admitted his rival’s victory in the runoff presidential vote on Sunday.
“Hollande was elected President of France, we’ve got to respect this choice,” Sarkozy said at a meeting with his supporters in Paris.
The official vote count is still ongoing, with the final results to be announced early Monday, but preliminary results, exit polls and various French media give Hollande between 50.8 and 52 percent, with about 48 to 49 percent for his opponent.
The turnout was 81.03 percent.
Hollande has already been congratulated on election victory by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Barack Obama and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.