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after the French overseas and abroad, the metropolis called for elections

Voters vote in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon for the second round of the presidential election, Saturday, April 23, 2022. JEAN-CHRISTOPHE L’ESPAGNOL / AFP

The French are called to the polls on Sunday, April 24, to elect their next president. While some overseas territories and French living abroad began voting for the second round of presidential elections on Saturday, polling stations in mainland France open at 8 a.m. They will close at 7 pm, in large cities at 8 pm. In Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, where the vote took place on Saturday, turnout was 57%, compared with 54.96% in the first round.

With three school zones in the country on school holidays, turnout will be the first indicator of the mobilization of 48.7 million voters called to decide the main vote at noon. The French have to choose between the restoration of the outgoing President Emmanuel Macron, which has never happened since the adoption of universal direct suffrage in 1962 and the election of General de Gaulle three years later. Or choose a Marine Le Pen woman, which would be the first time, and propel the National Rally to power.

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The campaign in mainland France has officially ended since midnight on Friday. Public meetings, leaflet distribution and digital promotion of both candidates are prohibited. No interviews or surveys or results estimates can be published before the results, on Sunday at 8 pm.

Two different visions

As in 2017, the French have a choice between two candidates with radically opposing programs, in a particularly tense international context with a war raging at the borders of the European Union (EU). Europe, the economy, purchasing power, relations with Russia, pensions, immigration: almost everything divides the two rivals who, after a five-year period full of many crises, more than ever embody two France, from “yellow vests” to Pandemics covid19.

To face his opponent, Emmanuel Macron, who placed in the top round (27.85%) with more than four points, reactivated the “Republican Front”. Five years ago, she was sharply defeated (33.9% of the vote) against the same opponent, candidate RN, on the third attempt she bet on another front, “Everything but Macron”.

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Voters will be re-invited to the June 12 and 19 parliamentary elections, where the new president will seek to gain the majority needed to rule.

World with AFP