France kicks off second round of legislative elections


French voters started to cast a ballot in 572 run-off races on Sunday to elect the 577-member National Assembly.

A total of 1,148 candidates who won the support of at least 12.5 percent of registered voters in the first round on June 12 advanced to Sunday’s contest. Five candidates have won an absolute majority of more than 50 percent of the vote with a turnout rate of no less than 25 percent in their constituency.

According to the Interior Ministry, the legislative elections are contested between three blocs that were leading the first round race, namely President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance Ensemble (25.75 percent), left-wing alliance NUPES (25.66 percent) led by Jean-Luc Melenchon and far-right party National Rally (18.68 percent) led by Marine Le Pen who lost the presidential election to Macron in a run-off in April.

The preliminary results are scheduled to be announced after 8 p.m. local time (1800 GMT). The abstention rate of the first round vote stood at 52.49 percent, compared to 51.29 percent in 2017, according to the Interior Ministry.


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