Voting begins for 2nd round of French parliamentary elections

Paris, June 19 (EFE).- Polling stations in metropolitan France opened Sunday for the second round of the parliamentary elections with President Emmanuel Macron’s absolute majority at stake.

Voting began at 8 am and will close at 6 pm in rural areas and small cities. It will close at 8 pm in large cities.

The runoff may be overshadowed by low voter turnout following a record abstention rate of 52.49 percent in the first round on June 12.

Polls predict that abstention rates may reach new levels during the second round.

More than 48 million French are called to vote in the second round.

It remains to be seen whether Macron’s alliance Ensemble (Together) manages to hold on to its absolute majority in parliament.

Securing a majority is key for Macron to execute his main proposals, especially the pension reform, which the left and the unions have flatly rejected.

Four nationwide surveys released Friday indicated that an absolute majority is difficult but not impossible for Macron.

Macron’s alliance currently holds 350 of the 577 seats of the National Assembly.

Polls predict between 255 and 305 seats for the alliance.

The polls put a new alliance of leftist and environmentalist parties (Nupes) in second place with 140-210 seats, which could prevent Macron from gaining absolute control of the assembly.

French voters across the American continent and the Indo-Pacific islands began voting on Saturday. EFE


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