French election: voting under way as France chooses Macron or Le Pen as president
In France, people are voting in the second and final round of presidential elections today. All voting stations will close by 8 p.m. (2 p.m. ET) Sunday, and polling companies release usually reliable projections of the final result almost immediately afterward. Voting is underway in France's general election, with Emmanuel Macron poised to take victory from far-Right Front National candidate Marine Le Pen. In the first round of the election, pro-European Union centrist Emmanuel Macron emerged as the top candidate securing 23.8 votes. He was followed by anti-EU and anti-immigration far-rightist Le Pen with 21.5 percent votes. Mr Macron, a pro-EU centrist, is firmly ahead of Ms Le Pen in the polls - though she hopes to upset the establishment with a shock result similar to the Brexit vote.
Co Host: CR Shamsi
Analyst on Telephone
Dr. Khurram Iqbal (Senior Analyst):
French voters are going to the polls to decide between Emmanuel Macron’s vision of a stronger European Union and open economy and Le Pen’s plans to shut France’s borders and exit the European Union. Nationalism is at its peak in recent presidential elections in France and the result of these elections will also have an impact on Pakistan as well. We cannot predict the expected results of the French presidential elections.
Mushtaq Ahmed Mehar (Former Ambassador):
Although the results of French elections will be interesting yet we cannot say that the results will be repetition of recently held US elections. France is an economically stable country. The pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron appears on track to beat his rival Marine Le Pen in the fight for the presidency. Germany and France are two main countries in European Union. The political culture and movements in Europe are mature. Whoever is going to win the election will definitely give priority to ensure the internal security.
Dr. Rasool Bux Rais (Senior Analyst):
It is expected that Macron - a centrist - should be able to attract a wider spectrum of second-round voters than Le Pen. The socialists and the centre right have run France since the 1950s, but the old model has been shattered. However, in my opinion the exit of France from European Union is not possible as it will have many implications. Whoever wins, centrist Emmanuel Macron or populist Marine Le Pen, France will have a president with an agenda for change.