France and Poland organize elections postponed by the pandemic

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The Poles started to vote in a presidential election while the French voted in the second round of municipal elections in 5,000 cities.

People wearing a face mask and visor to protect themselves from the coronavirus are seated behind a glass shield during a rehearsal of the vote for the local elections scheduled for Sunday June 28 in Paris, France on June 26, 2020.
(AP)

France and Poland are both organizing elections previously postponed by the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday.

The Poles started to vote in a presidential election while the French voted in the second round of municipal elections in 5,000 cities.

Polish President Andrzej Duda, a 48-year-old conservative supported by the ruling party, is running against 10 other candidates after seeking a second five-year term.

The most recent polls have shown that no candidate is likely to reach the 50% required to avoid runoff. In this case, the two best voters will face each other on July 12.

Polling stations remain open until 1900 GMT, and exit polls will be announced immediately after.

The final results of the officials are expected on Wednesday at the latest.

READ MORE: US, EU closely monitor Poland ahead of polls

France

Voting to fill local offices in Paris and thousands of other locations was suspended after the first round of national municipal elections on March 15, which produced decisive results in some 30,000 other municipalities, for most of them small.

Voters are expected to choose mayors and city councilors on Sunday from polling stations operating under strict hygiene standards.

Face masks, soap or hand sanitizers and keeping a meter between each person in line are mandatory. Voters were asked to bring their own pens to sign the register.

People wearing protective masks attend a vote during the presidential election at a polling station in Warsaw, Poland, June 28, 2020.
(Reuters)

Before the 2022 presidential election

The elections, although clearly focused on local concerns, are also considered a key political indicator before the French presidential election in 2022.

The main battlefield is Paris, where the mayor is an influential figure in French politics and will oversee the 2024 Olympic Games.

The mayor of Paris, Annie Hidalgo, member of the Socialist Party, finished in March with a solid lead over the conservative candidate Rachida Dati.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s 3-year centrist party presents municipal candidates for the first time and still has no local roots across France. The party, Republic on the Move, does not have candidates in every race and, in some cases, supports candidates from the left and the right instead.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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