wnol.info October 19 2017

Voting underway in French presidential runoff

October 19 2017, 11:43 | Irvin Gilbert

Voting underway in French presidential runoff

Voting underway in French presidential runoff

More than 50,000 police officers were assigned to duty. Voters are set to decide today which candidate becomes France's next president.

Earlier in the day, the courtyard was briefly evacuated after a suspicious bag was discovered.

Close to 60 per cent of those who plan to vote for Macron say they will do so to stop Le Pen from being elected to lead the euro zone's second-largest economy, rather than because they fully support the former banker turned politician.

Global financial markets and France's neighbours are watching carefully.

She wants France to abandon the euro in the domestic economy, and hold a referendum on France's European Union membership. Polling stations are also open for an hour longer this time. The major left-wing and right-wing parties - the Socialist Party and The Republicans - that have ruled France for decades both suffered humiliating defeats in the election's first round.

French voters cast their ballots Sunday, in a historic presidential election that's reverberating around the globe and pitting two unconventional candidates against each other.

Aides have alleged those behind the cyberattack were attempting to destabilize Sunday's final round between Mr Macron and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

The voting watchdog also called on the Interior Ministry late Friday to look into claims by the Le Pen campaign that ballot papers are being tampered with nationwide to benefit Macron. "Voter turnout will determine whether Marine Le Pen has a chance or not". Le Pen, 48, is on track to deliver the strongest-ever showing in a presidential election for her National Front party. For security reasons, he was driven to his polling station.

Macron will vote Sunday in the seaside town of Le Touquet, where his wife Brigitte went for a walk Saturday with her daughter and grandchildren.

Russian Federation has said it has no preferred candidate in the French election.

Macron will address supporters in the courtyard at the Louvre, Paris, to celebrate his victory.

The museum itself was not evacuated, and tourists continued entering and leaving. The museum has been heavily guarded since an extremist attempted a knife attack on patrolling soldiers in February.

The centrist candidate's furious staff said the release was an attempt at "democratic destabilization, like that seen during the last presidential campaign in the United States".

It is a stance which contrasts markedly with Macron, a pro-EU, pro-integration candidate who has said he would keep sanctions on Russian Federation in place, if not add to them.

The presidential election commission said in statement that it would hold a meeting later on Saturday after Macron's campaign informed it about the hack and publishing of the data. The site has special meaning for her National Front party because it's the cathedral where Charles VII was crowned in the presence of Joan of Arc - the party's icon - at a time of war and division.

The philosophy and literature lover is inexperienced, has no political party and must try to fashion a working parliamentary majority after legislative elections next month.

Margot Taieb, a 27-year-old Parisian voter who works in human resources, welcomed a change in the political scenery.

The vote on Sunday followed one of the most unpredictable election campaigns in modern history marked by scandal, repeated surprises and a last-minute hacking attack on Macron. "The future will tell, but I'm positive about this".

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