MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Polling stations opened across France at 8 a.m. local time (6:00 GMT) on Sunday. The first results are expected at around 8 p.m. local time later in the day when the polls close.
"Our ballots are the fortress protecting our democracy, and it deserves our few minutes this Sunday," Lagarde told Le Journal du Dimanche weekly newspaper.
According to the newspaper, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, an Italian-French singer, composer and former model, wrote a text inspiring the French people to cast their votes.
The voters will choose from 11 candidates, the top two of whom will make it to the second round in case nobody gets more than 50 percent of the votes.
The offices, town halls and gymnasiums have been adopted to host voting stations for Sunday's vote. Elderly and people with limited mobility have been offered free taxi rides and given a hand of getting out to the polling stations.
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