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France prepares to elect new president

Saturday, April 22, 2017 - 01:23

French citizens prepare to vote in unpredictable presidential election, where centrist Emmanuel Macron and far right candidate Marine Le Pen are front-runners. France's overseas territories, such as Guiana, starting voting in the first round on Saturday. Saskia O'Donoghue reports

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Campaigning over, there's nothing more candidates in the first round of elections in France can do to convince voters to support them. And it's still not clear who will triumph in Sunday's vote. The first round will send two of 11 candidates into a run-off vote in two weeks time. The winner of that will become France's new president. And it's a vote which could change not only France - but the global political landscape. Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron is currently polling as favourite, but Front National candidate Marine Le Pen is not far behind him. Her party's far right, anti-immigrant stance has been gaining traction and continues to do so in the wake of an attack in Paris Thursday, which saw a policeman killed. France has suffered a number of attacks in the past months... and the country will go to the polls under tight security. More than 50,000 police and other security mobilised for the day. Both Le Pen and Macron have passionate supporters - and detractors but, despite pollsters' findings - neither is totally assured a spot in the May 7 run off for president. Conservative Francois Fillon and hard-left Jean-Luc Melenchon remain in the running and have been gaining traction. Even as voters in French terrorities outside of mainland Europe start to vote, it's far from clear what's next for France.

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France prepares to elect new president

Saturday, April 22, 2017 - 01:23