06:26 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Jean-Luc Melenchon, candidate of the French far-left Parti de Gauche and candidate for the French 2017 presidential election, casts his ballot in the first round of 2017 French presidential election at a polling station in Paris, France, April 23, 2017.

    French Presidential Nominee Melenchon Votes in First Round of Elections

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    French Citizens Elect New President (48)
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    Far-left presidential hopeful Jean-Luc Melenchon has cast his vote in the first round of French presidential elections on Sunday.

    PARIS (Sputnik) — Melenchon, head of the left-wing political movement La France Insoumise (Unsubmissive France), voted at one of the polling stations in Paris.

    A man choose his ballots before voting in the first round of 2017 French presidential election at a polling station in Lyon, France, April 23, 2017.
    © REUTERS / Robert Pratta

    Other presidential candidates, including Benoit Hamon from the ruling Socialist Party, independent candidate Emmanuel Macron, far-right hopeful Marine Le Pen and The Republicans' party nominee Francois Fillon also cast their ballots in different parts of the country earlier in the day.

    Polling stations opened across France at 8 a.m. local time on Sunday. The first results are expected at around 8 p.m. local time later in the day when the polls close.

    In order to cast a ballot in France, a citizen must be over 18 years old, not legally banned from voting and registered on the electoral list.

    The same rules are applied to presidential candidates. They must also show a sense of "moral dignity," which is a loose term without a clear legal definition. a presidential hopeful must also collect 500 signatures of support from elected representatives. Anyone who is able to fulfill these criteria becomes eligible to run for the first round. If nobody wins the first round with the absolute majority, the two highest scoring candidates face each other in a runoff.

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    French Citizens Elect New President (48)

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    presidential election, Jean-Luc Melenchon, Paris, France
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