France holds 1st round of regional elections with eye on presidential vote

Paris, Jun 20 (EFE).- France on Sunday holds the first round of regional elections that could have implications for the presidential polls scheduled next year.

Some 48 million people are eligible to vote to renew regional and departmental assemblies in 13 regions of France and five overseas territories.

The contest will gauge the popularity of President Emmanuel Macron’s party, La République en Marche, and far-right contender Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, ahead of the 2022 presidential election.

Surveys project record abstention as part of the population claims to be fed up with politics, and bad weather in parts of France could discourage people even more.

Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally is expected to be the most voted in six regions during this first round, surveys show.

NR is expected to form its first regional government in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur after the second round scheduled for 27 June, according to polls.

Polling centers, which opened at 06:00 GMT, will close between 16:00 and 18:00 GMT. Afterwards, the preliminary results will be announced. EFE


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