(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) France will decide her destiny today with the second round of the election deciding whether Nicolas Sarkozy will go down fighting as one of the most controversial yet high-profile presidents who brought a little amour into the usually dour politics of the French system, one that few people understand.
If he wins, Sarkozy will have to work a lot harder on the French economy, tackle the rising spectre of unemployment and inflation and justify the faith placed in him by no more than half the voting generation.
Paradoxically, Hollande will have to pick up the pieces and project himself as the savior which he will only manage with also half a nation's support by first coming to terms with the power and hostility of modern technology. Hollande is not charismatic, he is not the world's most brilliant speaker nor does his rhetoric have any great flair about it. He will look like an also ran and even in victory be tawdry compared to the incumbent's planned departure from the Elyse Palace. Sarkozy will manipulate the defeat, if it occurs, to set the stage for a comeback and the public is likely to miss him weeks into the new presidency.
But, for now, this race is not over. Depending on the right-wingers, Sarkozy hopes to close the four per cent gap before the polls open and his camp reflects the hope that on the day of reckoning the incumbent factor will come into play. The media's unkindness to Hollande has also spiked the doubt in the French psyche that change may not necessarily mean betterment or resolution of the economic malaise. In fact, the new team might make things worse.
As things stand Hollande's first leg victory might get him the prize with round two being more a draw that an outright victory for either candidate.
The Socialist tiers of the French political hierarchy are also preparing for what could well be a vocal and sardonic Sarkozy in the Opposition, a place from where he might charm back support for himself and make Hollande's tenure that much more difficult. Either way this is not last we have heard of Nicolas and his role in the new French revolution. Win or lose, he will still be making his presence felt.