France begins voting in parliamentary polls second phase

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Paris, June 18 (IANS) French voters went to polls on Sunday in the second round of parliamentary elections, in a run-off between the top candidates from last week’s first round.

More than 65,000 polling stations in Metropolitan France opened at 8 a.m. (local time), with President Emmanuel Macron’s party, La Republique En Marche (LERM), widely expected to secure a significant parliamentary majority, reports Efe news.

French citizens living in overseas territories already voted on Saturday, with final results expected on Sunday night.

A total of 573 of 577 seats in the French Lower House will be contested in the second round, after four were settled in the first round last week.

A party needs 289 seats for a majority in the house. The LREM is predicted to win over 400.

In the first round, Macron’s party and Moderate Democrats won a combined 32.3 per cent of the vote, reports the BBC.

The centre-right Republicans had 21.5 per cent, while the far-right National Front (FN) had 13.2 per cent, followed by the far-left La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) on just over 11 per cent.

The Socialists, previously France’s ruling party, and their allies won a mere 9.5 per cent.

Surveys predicted a low turnout after less than half of the 47.5 million registered voters cast their ballots on June 11.

The elections are being held amid tight security measures, with 50,000 officers deployed throughout the country, which has been in a state of emergency since the terror attacks of 2015.

–IANS

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