Macron land­slide due, vot­ing at new low

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

PARIS: Vot­ers turned out in low num­bers yes­ter­day in the sec­ond round of France’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tion, in which Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron was ex­pected to win a land­slide ma­jor­ity that should al­low him to em­bark on far-reach­ing pro-busi­ness re­forms.

The vote came just a month af­ter the 39-year-old for­mer banker be­came the youngest head of state in mod­ern French his­tory, promis­ing to clean up French pol­i­tics and re­vive the euro zone’s sec­ond-big­gest econ­omy.

Macron’s cen­trist Repub­lic on the Move (LREM) party is lit­tle more than a year old, yet poll­sters project it will win as many as 75% to 80% of the seats in the 577-seat lower house.

Turnout, though, was on course for a record low, a sign of voter fa­tigue af­ter seven months of cam­paign­ing and vot­ing – and also of dis­il­lu­sion­ment and anger with pol­i­tics that could even­tu­ally com­pli­cate Macron’s re­form drive.

In­te­rior Ministry data showed turnout at 17.75% by noon lo­cal time, its low­est ever at that time of day for a sec­ond round of par­lia­men­tary elec­tions since at least 1997.

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