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France votes for new president — RT World News


Emmanuel Macron is expected to face stiff competition from the leader of the right-wing National Democratic party, Marine Le Pen

The first round of French Presidential elections begins on Sunday, with citizens in the country’s overseas territories voting on Saturday. According to opinion polls, of the 12 candidates, incumbent president Emmanuel Macron and National Rally leader Marine Le Pen, are likely to make it to the second round of the April 24 vote.

Polling stations close at 1800 GMT, with the first votes expected shortly after. Some experts have warned of low turnout, with younger and lower-income voters likely to abstain.

Until recently, according to some analysts, Macron was comfortably leading; however, a combination of a number of factors, including his plans to raise the retirement age, rising inflation and his late entry into the race, have somewhat dented popular support.

His main rival, Marine Le Pen, has been actively touring France, appealing to the current administration because of the rising cost of living. Addressing supporters on Thursday, Le Pen urged them to vote and administer “the fair punishment that those who had managed us so badly deserved.

On the eve of the election, the incumbent president repeatedly stated that Le Pen’s political agenda was “racist“And aim”social division” – which the National Rally leader has vehemently denied.

However, Macron, speaking at a recent rally, warned supporters that the right-wing candidate could win. “Look at what happened with Brexit, and so many other elections: what seemed impossible actually happened.

Twelve candidates are vying for the top French job. Half of the candidates have run in presidential elections in the past, with Macron and Le Pen crossing swords in 2017. Left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon is a veteran politician hope to spoil the expected Macron-Le Pen rematch and reach the final round. His supporters have called on left-leaning voters to rally around the socialist group firebrand. Among the other left-wing candidates were far-left politician Philippe Poutou, socialist Nathalie Arthaud, Anne Hidalgo, socialist mayor of Paris, Yannick Jadot of the Greens, and Fabien Roussel of the Communist Party. produce.

On the opposite end of the political spectrum are nationalist Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, centre-right ruler Jean Lassalle, Valérie Pécresse, the conservative head of the Paris region, and Eric Zemmour, a far-right politician. on television, who rose to fame for his anti-immigrant rhetoric. However, according to opinion polls, Zemmour lost to Le Pen as the favorite candidate on the right wing.

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