France concludes 1st round of parliamentary elections


France concluded the first round of elections to determine the 577 lawmakers of its National Assembly on Sunday as of 8 p.m. local time (1800GMT).

According to the Foreign Ministry, voter turnout stood at 39.42% as of 5 p.m., whereas this figure was 40.75% in 2017. The number of eligible French voters is about 48.7 million.

A total of 6,293 candidates are competing in the polls, and a second round will be held for seats without an absolute majority. Candidates with 12.5% or more of the vote will be eligible for the second round.

The left-wing parties – the Socialists, Greens, Communists and France Unbowed — formed an alliance dubbed Nupes with the goal of securing an absolute majority of 289 seats and appointing Jean-Luc Mélenchon — the leader of France Unbowed — as premier.

Nupes stands for Nouvelle Union Populaire Écologique et Sociale and is challenging President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Ensemble! (Together!) alliance.

Macron’s La République En Marche! (LREM) party formed an alliance called Ensemble! together with the Horizons and MoDem parties.

It is of great importance for Macron to obtain an absolute majority in the general election in order to fulfil his election promises and form the government.

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas

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