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Après vous: Nicolas Sarkozy prepares to hand power to François Hollande

Lionel Bonaventure / AP

Outgoing French president Nicolas Sarkozy, left, walks with president-elect Francois Hollande at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on May 8, 2012, during a ceremony marking the end of World War II in Europe.

Reuters reports — Outgoing French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged his divided conservative UMP party on Monday to pull together quickly after his election defeat to fight off a double challenge from the left and far-right in parliamentary polls next month.

Sarkozy, who lost Sunday's presidential election to Socialist François Hollande, told senior UMP members to "play hard" and warned against splitting into factions that would weaken the party's standing in parliament.

France's flashy, fiery Sarkozy is ousted by unassuming Socialist

Sarkozy, who is due to hand over power to Hollande on May 15, said he would not campaign for the legislative elections to held in two rounds on June 10 and 17, preferring to take a break with his family.

But he seemed to back away from his promise to withdraw from politics if he lost the presidency, telling his allies that he would "still be around" and that they could "count on him". Read the full story.

Eric Feferberg / AFP - Getty Images

In his first official function since defeating Sarkozy in Sunday's election, Hollande took part in ceremonies to mark the anniversary at the Arc de Triomphe along with the outgoing president.