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France: Final countdown to presidential election

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France: Final countdown to presidential election


Last-minute preparations are underway for an election expected to give France its first left-wing president in 17 years.

Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande is tipped to be the next man in the top job, replacing conservative Nicolas Sarkozy, in office since 2007.

Voting has begun in France’s overseas territories but on the mainland citizens must wait until Sunday to cast their ballots.

After extensive media coverage in recent months, electioneering is on hold today to give people a chance to make up their minds.

People questioned on the streets of Paris seem unimpressed by the campaign.

Julia, a saleswoman at a store in the capital, complained that candidates keep attacking each other.

“From the beginning, I had decided who I will be voting for,” she said.

Fish-seller Brice was uninspired by the outcome.

“I don’t think it will change a thing, whoever wins,” he declared.

Self-employed Frederic Le Fevre said: “I do know who I am going to vote for tomorrow. But I think the campaign has not been thorough enough, that important issues have not been addressed…..They have focussed on childish arguments, blaming each other.”

Sarkozy and Hollande are expected to face off in a May 6 decider for which the Socialist has a comfortable lead of up to 14 percentage points.

Firebrand leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon and National Front leader Marine Le Pen have also made their mark in a field of 10 first round candidates.

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