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Voting begins in French presidential election

VOTERS on France's European mainland began casting their ballots Sunday in the first round of a presidential election that will weigh on the future of Europe.

The voting will winnow down a list of 11 candidates to two finalists for the decisive runoff on May 7.

Polling stations open at 8 a.m. (0600 GMT) for a maximum of 12 hours and in the largest cities close at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT).

Around 47 million French voters will decide whom to support.

Out of the 11 candidates, four are leading in previous polls, namely the centrist former Minister of economy Emmanuel Macron, the far-rightist Marine Le Pen, the right-wing conservative Francois Fillon and the far-leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon.


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