Paris : The first round of France’s 2022 presidential election will take place on Sunday and if none of the 12 qualified candidates get an absolute majority, there will be a run-off between the top two candidates on 24 April. first round.

The final list of all 12 candidates, including incumbent President Emmanuel Macron, was published in early March by the country’s highest constitutional authority, the Constitutional Council, Xinhua news agency reported.

Each of these candidates had received at least 500 sponsorship letters from mayors and local officials.

According to a poll on voting intentions published by market research firm Ipsos on 6 April, Macron should advance to the first round, followed by Marine Le Pen of the right-wing National Rally Party and Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the left-wing leadership. . La France Insomis (Unsubmissive France) party.

Ipsos said purchasing power, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the environment, the health system, immigration and social inequalities are the topics that interest French voters the most.

The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies reported that 48.8 million French citizens had registered to vote in the presidential election.

Of them 47.05 million are registered on municipal lists and 1.43 million on consular lists abroad.

INSEE said that about 95 percent of eligible citizens of France have registered to vote.

According to another Ipsos survey, 30 percent of eligible voters remain undecided about their participation in the first election round. This would result in a record-high abstinence rate.

In the first round of the last presidential election, the absenteeism rate was 28.4 percent.

On Sundays, polling stations will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. In large cities such as Paris, Lyon or Marseille, polling stations can remain open until 8 p.m.

As France sees another surge in Covid-19 cases, the Interior Ministry has announced a health protocol for polling stations.

According to the ministry, a vaccine pass or a negative COVID-19 test result will not be required for those entering polling stations.

Wearing of face masks and social distancing will not be mandatory, but will be recommended for elderly, vulnerable and coronavirus positive persons.

The official preliminary results of the first round will be declared on Sunday night or Monday morning after verification by the Ministry of Interior.

No candidate has won the French presidency in the first round since the switch to universal suffrage for the presidential elections of the Fifth French Republic.