17:57 GMT28 November 2020
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    PARIS (Sputnik) - France is holding the first round of municipal elections on Sunday, which are set to run from 15 to 22 March.

    The voter turnout during the first round of the municipal elections in France has reached 18 percent by noon (11:00 GMT), the French Interior Ministry said on Sunday.

    "The turnout in the first round of the 2020 municipal elections is 18.38 percent by noon", the ministry said in a statement.

    The authorities decided not to postpone the first round of the elections despite the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country. The second round of the elections is scheduled for 22 March.

    According to local media, the current turnout is lower by five percentage points compared to 2014.

    The number of coronavirus infection cases in France surged to 4,499 overnight, with 91 fatalities, the state health agency said on Saturday.

    France is one of the worst-affected countries in Europe, which has been declared the new virus hotspot after infections on the continent rose dramatically this month, while those in China have been leveling off.

    turnout, municipal elections, France
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