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French election results deal blow to Socialists

The government of Socialist President Francois Mitterrand acknowledged that rightist gains in local elections were a setback to the 10-month-old leftist coalition.

The right-center groups opposed to the Mitterrand government gained 268 seats in runoffs Sunday for voting that started March 14. The losses, however, do not affect the Mitterrand government's hold on power and the President's Socialist Party still had the largest number of seats -- 508 -- in the local assemblies.

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