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PARIS, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Former Prime Minister Francois Fillon won the center-right Republicans party's primary runoff on Sunday to represent the biggest opposition party in the 2017 French presidential race.

After counting ballots in 8,081 out of a total of 10,228 polling stations, the 62-year-old liberal politician led the second round of the conservative primary with 67.4 percent of the vote against his moderate rival Alain Juppe.

"It is a fundamental victory built on convictions. Progressively, I felt this wave broke all the written scenarios in advance. My approach was understood," Fillon told supporters.

"The future is ahead of us. We have all the assets to be a sovereign nation, to lead Europe. Now, I have the duty to convince the whole country that our project is the only one that can lift us up," he added.

Fillon gained a spectacular momentum more than a week ahead of the primary's first round on Nov. 20, which saw former president Nicolas Sarkozy out of the field. Fillon served under Sarkozy as prime minister from 2007 to 2012.

He had lagged in opinion surveys for months far behind Juppe and Sarkozy before clinching a surprise victory in the first round.

Advocating pro-market reforms, Fillon campaigned on a "more radical project," involving a slash of 500,000 public sector jobs, twice as Juppe pledged, lower corporate taxes and extended work time in a bid to reduce public spending and revive economy.

On foreign policy, he called on Paris and Moscow to "sit down around the same table" to enhance bilateral ties and help end the anti-terrorist war in Syria and Iraq.

The differences between his campaigning platform and Juppe's were deemed to largely lie in social policies. Admitting his defeat, Juppe, 71, who had long been the polls' favorite, "congratulate Francois Fillon for his great victory."

"I support him and I wish him good luck for his presidential campaign and the victory in May," he told supporters after results were released.

"The moment has come for our political family to mobilize around Francois Fillon to guarantee the change that France needs more than ever in 2017, " Sarkozy said in a statement following Fillon's declaration of victory.

Fillon is expected to rival candidates from the ruling Socialist party and the far-right National Front party in the French presidential elections scheduled for April and May.

The ruling left is considered to be as weak as divided as President Francois Hollande, with dismal support ratings, has yet to decide on whether to seek another five-year term while other bids are expected to split the vote, possibly including that of his prime minister, Manuel Valls.

"Never has a candidate gone so far in submitting to the ultra-liberal demands of the European Union," far-right candidate Marine Le Pen said after the Republicans party's primary results, slashing on Fillon's position on economic liberalization and Europe.

Latest opinion surveys showed Fillon would be more likely to face, and win over Le Pen finally in the bid for Elysee by a wide margin, who echoed a mounting populism in the euro zone's second largest economy.

However, as majority of the past polls had failed to predict the outcomes of Brexit referendum and presidential elections in the United States, uncertainties about such a prospect remain.

DAMASCUS Nike Air Max Womens White , July 20 (Xinhua) -- Syria's President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday that the Iranian support to his government is one of the main reasons behind the progress of the Syrian army against the terrorist groups, according to state news agency SANA.

Assad made the remarks during his meeting with visiting Iranian Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari, during which Assad noted that the victories of the Syrian army are positively reverberating on the situation in Syria.

He also touched upon the "strategic relations" between Damascus and Tehran Nike Air Max Womens Online , noting that the constant support by Iran is one of the main reasons behind the steadfastness of Syria in the face of terrorism.

For his part, Ansari stressed that his country will keep on supporting Syria until the final victory on terrorism and the return of peace and stability to Syria.

Iran has emerged as a main regional backer of the Syrian government, with military advisors and Shiite fighters aiding the Syrian army in its fight against the rebels.

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Party members’ groups first for social organizations

A regulation to strengthen the Communist Party of China's (CPC) role in State organs and non-Party units, especially in social organizations Nike Air Max Womens Shoes , has been passed over the weekend.

"Leading Party members' groups in State organs, economic, cultural as well as social organizations Nike Air Max Womens , and other non-Party units are important channels to guarantee the implementation of the line and policies of the Party and the system must be strengthened and improved," read a statement released after a Friday meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, which was presided over by Xi Jinping Cheap Air Max Womens , general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

"Including social organizations is the highlight of the regulation, while the CPC constitution does not specify such a category," Xu Yaotong Air Max Womens White , a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times.

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