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French presidential election turnout figures slightly above 2010 at midday
April 23, 2017, 4:41 pm

Turnout figures for the first round of the French presidential election showed a 28.54 percentage participation rate by midday local time, (1000 GMT) the Interior Ministry said on Sunday, slightly above the corresponding rate in the 2012 vote. The 28.54 percent compared to 28.29 percent in 2012 at the same hour, and compared to midday turnout rates of 31.21 percent in 2007 and 21.40 percent in 2002.

France voted on Sunday in the first round of a bitterly fought presidential election that is crucial to the future of Europe and a closely-watched test of voters’ anger with the political establishment. Over 50,000 police backed by elite units of the French security services were on high alert, patrolling the streets less than three days after a gunman shot dead a policeman and wounded two others on the central Champs Elysees avenue.

Nearly 47 million voters will decide whether to back a pro-EU centrist newcomer, a scandal-ridden veteran conservative who wants to slash public spending, a far-left eurosceptic admirer of Fidel Castro or to appoint France’s first woman president who would shut borders and ditch the euro.

The outcome will be anxiously monitored around the world as a sign of whether the populist tide that saw Britain vote to leave the EU and Donald Trump’s election in the United States is still rising, or starting to ebb.

Source: Gulf News

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