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French presidential candidate Hollande casts vote

Paris, Sun, 22 Apr 2012 ANI

Paris, Apr 22 (Xinhua-ANI): French presidential candidate Francois Hollande, representing the biggest opposition Socialist Party (PS), cast his vote for Sunday's first round of presidential election.

He cast his ballot in Tulle, central France, where he served as its mayor from 2001 to 2008.

"I am attentive, engaged, and above all respectable. That's what the French vote for," Hollande told reporters after his voting, adding that the day was "an important moment."

According to schedule, the poll-favorite would head to the PS headquarters in Paris where he would hold a meeting with his campaign team later in the afternoon.

The latest available IFOP survey released on Friday showed that Hollande, who would run neck-and-neck with incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy in the first round, winning 27 percent of votes each, would be a comfortable winner in May 6 run-off.

Earlier in the day, Francois Bayrou, representing Democratic Movement (Modem), Jean-Luc Melenchon, candidate of the Left Front and Marine Le Pen, candidate representing the far right National Front (FN), also voted in their respective constituency.

The first round of French presidential election officially kicked off at 8 a.m. local time (0600 GMT) in French mainland on Sunday. About 44.3 million registered French voters are expected to cast their ballots for one of a total of 10 candidates.

The 85,000 polling stations across the country usually close at 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) while in big cities at 8 p.m. local time (1800 GMT).

The first official results would be issued after all the voting booths close. (Xinhua-ANI)

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