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France commences second round of legislative elections

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France commences second round of legislative elections
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Paris: The crucial second round of France's snap legislative elections began on Sunday in Metropolitan France, as voters head to the polls to elect the remaining 501 members of the 577-seat French National Assembly

According to the results published by the French Interior Ministry, the French far-right wing party National Rally (RN) was leading the first round of the elections held on June 30, taking 37 seats, reports Xinhua news agency.

Following the RN, the New Popular Front (NFP), the left-wing parties' electoral alliance, won 32 seats, while French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist coalition only gained two seats.

Five other deputies from various right and extreme right parties were also elected during the first round.

France has a long history of preventing far-right wing parties from taking power, but according to a survey published by consulting firm Elabe on Friday, 33 per cent of the French voters want the RN to obtain the largest number of seats in the National Assembly this time, 24 per cent for the NFP, and only 18 per cent for Macron's centrist coalition.

To stop the RN from gaining the absolute majority, the NFP and Macron's coalition announced that their candidates who entered the second round in third place would renounce their candidacy to not split anti-RN votes.

Any party that wants to form a government should hold an absolute majority of 289 seats in the 577-member Assembly. The latest projections show that the RN would win the most seats in the National Assembly but not an absolute majority.

No matter which side wins the legislative elections, Macron has already announced that he will continue his second presidential term until the end of 2027.

Physical attacks targeting 51 candidates were registered during the campaign period before the second round, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Friday, adding that nearly 30 suspects were arrested across the country.

Given the possibility of riots following the announcement of the election results, Darmanin said that nearly 30,000 police officers would be deployed across France on Sunday, including 5,000 in Paris and its suburbs.

Polling booths are open for the 49.5 million registered voters from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time, while in major cities such as Paris, Lyon and Marseille, the booths will close at 8 p.m. local time.

Source: IANS


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TAGS:pollsFrance election
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