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French interior ministry announces results of presidential elections

(Xinhua)

08:19, April 24, 2012

PARIS, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The French interior ministry on Monday published on its website the official results of France's first round of presidential elections.

According to the figures, Socialist candidate Francois Hollande secured 28.63 percent of the vote, ahead of incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy's 27.18 percent.

The results qualified the leftist Hollande and the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) candidate Sarkozy to compete in the run-off on May 6.

National Front (FN) candidate Marine Le Pen finished third with 17.9 percent of the vote, a record for the far-right party, followed by Left Front candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon with 11.11 percent.

The centrist Francois Bayrou got 9.13 percent of the vote while the remaining five candidates all received less than 3 percent.

According to the Interior Ministry's latest report on the first round, some 46 million French people registered to vote, 79.47 percent of them cast their vote. In the 2007 presidential election, voter turnout was 83 percent.

The results will be validated by the French Constitutional Council before a final official announcement is made on Wednesday.

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