French ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy has been knocked out of the contest for a centre-right presidential candidate and signalled his withdrawal from politics, the BBC reports.
Admitting defeat, Mr Sarkozy endorsed Francois Fillon, a moderate who finished first in Sunday’s first round, according to near-complete results.
Alain Juppe, who like Mr Fillon is an ex-prime minister, finished second.
They will face each other in a run-off next Sunday. The winner will compete in next year’s presidential election.
The winner of the Republican primary is likely to make the presidential run-off, where he or she will probably face far-right leader Marine Le Pen.