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Voters head to the polls

Sunday, April 22, 2012 - 00:45

April 22 - Polls open in France for the first round presidential election voting. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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The French headed to the polls on Sunday (April 22) in the first round of presidential elections, with a feeble economy that could make Nicolas Sarkozy the country's first president to lose a re-election bid in more than 30 years. Sarkozy is battling Socialist opponent Francois Hollande in the two-round election. Opinion polls have given the challenger a double-digit lead for a May 6 runoff. Far-right leader Marine Le Pen, hard leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon and centrist Francois Bayrou rank in third, fourth and fifth place for the April 22 first round between 10 candidates. 57-year-old Hollande promises less drastic spending cuts than Sarkozy and wants higher taxes on the wealthy to fund state-aided job creation, in particular a 75 percent upper tax rate on income above 1 million euros (1.32 million US dollars). He would become France's first left-wing president since Francois Mitterand, who beat incumbent Valery Giscard-'Estaing in 1981.

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Voters head to the polls

Sunday, April 22, 2012 - 00:45