Royal won 25 percent of the vote, while Sarkozy garnered 30 percent in last weekend�s election between 12 candidates. The two have already begun competing to attract the 18 percent of voters who cast ballots for the third-place candidate, centrist Francois Bayrou, now eliminated from the race. A televised debate between Royal and Sarkozy is scheduled for May 2.
Royal has run a populist campaign with an emphasis on participatory democracy and women�s rights. "There is a strong correlation between the status of a woman and the state of justice or injustice in a country," she said in her nomination acceptance speech, drawing cheers.