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    French projections: Macron’s centrists will keep a majority

    PARIS (AP) – French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance is expected to keep its parliamentary majority after the first round of voting on Sunday, but will likely have far fewer seats than five years ago, according to projections.

    Projections based on partial election results showed that at the national level, Macron’s party and its allies got about 25-26 per cent of the vote. That was neck-and-neck with estimates for a new leftist coalition composed of hard-left, Socialists and Green party supporters. Yet Macron’s candidates are projected to win in a greater number of districts than their leftist rivals, giving the president a majority.

    More than 6,000 candidates, ranging in age from 18 to 92, ran Sunday for 577 seats in France’s National Assembly in the first round of the election.

    France’s two-round voting system is complex and not proportionate to the nationwide support for a party. For races that did not have a decisive winner on Sunday, up to four candidates who got at least 12.5 per cent support each will compete in a second round of voting on June 19.

    Following Macron’s reelection in May, his centrist coalition was seeking an absolute majority that would enable it to implement his campaign promises, which include tax cuts and raising France’s retirement age from 62 to 65.

    A girl casts the ballot for her mother at a voting station in Strasbourg, France. PHOTO: AP
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