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Second Round of Local Elections in France

Second Round of Local Elections in France”

Socialist incumbent Anne Hidalgo won a second term with the support of the Greens after the president's Republic On the March party conducted a chaotic campaign in the capital.

Hidalgo largely beat conservative candidate Rachida Dati, according to estimates based on partial results. Restrictions such as mandatory face masks remained in place and turnout was very low.

This is much lower than the participation rates during the 2014 municipal elections when it was already above 50 per cent at 5pm.

Paris is a major battleground, because the mayor will oversee the 2024 Olympics.

A total of 34,967 mayors and deputy mayors were elected in the first and second rounds.

Exit polls showed the Greens winning in Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux and Strasbourg, building on the momentum created by their strong performance in France in last year's European Parliament elections.

The second phase, originally scheduled for March 22, was postponed after France went into lockdown. Mail-in voting isn't allowed in France.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, in charge of organizing the elections, said that "today, everywhere across France, health measures. were able to be respected".

Voters chose mayors and municipal councillors at polling stations operating under strict hygiene rules.

The electoral process was suspended after the first round of the nationwide municipal elections on March 15, which produced decisive outcomes in 30,000 mostly small communes.

The spread of the coronavirus has slowed significantly in France in recent weeks and nearly all restrictions on social and business activity were gradually lifted over the last month. France has reported almost 200,000 confirmed cases and 29,781 deaths in the pandemic.

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The weak performance of Macron's La Republique en Marche will prompt much soul-searching for the president, who in the run-up to the vote said he wanted to reinvent his presidency with two years left in his mandate.

The poll took place amid lingering worries over the pandemic and anger over Mr Macron's handling of the crisis.

The polls are seen as a key political indicator ahead of the 2022 French presidential election. French authorities have faced criticism during the pandemic over mask shortages, testing capacity and for going ahead with the first round of elections instead of imposing a lockdown earlier.

Despite this, Mr Macron's prime minister, Edouard Philippe, won the post of Mayor in his hometown of Le Havre on Sunday night.

Philippe has seen his popularity increase significantly in recent weeks.

This could lead to a reshuffle in France's government, however, Mr Philippe is allowed to appoint someone else to act as mayor while he remains Prime Minister.

Polls showed before the election on Sunday that around 49 percent of the voters supported Hidalgo.

Government spokesperson Sibeth Ndiaye acknowledged the party's modest result in the elections, stressing that planting local roots "is taking time".

The Republicans, the main conservative opposition party, appeared set to retain control of thousands of local councils, with Paris likely to be one of the few major victories for the once powerful Socialists.

For Ms Le Pen's RN, the big prize would be the south-eastern city of Perpignan, which could become the stage for the first far-right takeover of a city of more than 100,000 inhabitants since Toulon in 1995.



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