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    New French President-elect M. Valery Giscard d'Estaing said in Paris on Monday (May 20) that?

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    New French President-elect M. Valery Giscard d'Estaing said in Paris on Monday (May 20) that he will assume his full presidential powers next Monday (May 27). He was speaking after a meeting with M. Alain Poher, the interim head of state during the presidential elections.

    Rival candidate, M. Francois Mitterrand, conceded defeat in the early hours of Monday morning. M. Giscard d'Estaing polled 50.80 per cent of the vote and M. Mitterrand 49.19 per cent -- giving M. Giscard d'Estaing a winning margin of just over 1.6 per cent.

    M. Giscard d'Estaing told pressmen outside the Elysee Palace that they should not yet call him 'President'. This can only properly be done when the Constitutional Council verifies the election result on Monday.

    But he also emphasised that it was very important to install a fully operational new government as quickly as possible. He will announce his new Prime Minister immediately after taking office on Monday.

    SYNOPSIS: M. Giscard d'Estaing has said that the Cabinet will contain some surprise choices and that it will hold its first meeting on Wednesday next week. But he warned the pressmen not to call him President until he was officially inaugurated on Monday.

    Although he has promised considerable changes, M. Giscard d'Estaing's room for manoeuvre is limited by the increased power of the Socialist parties and forces opposed to change within his own coalition.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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