France votes in municipal elections despite CoVid-19 fears

epa08292593 Member of the major of Le Cres, France, 12 March 2020 presents the new configuration of a poling station fears of contagion of the COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in Le Cres, France, 13 March 2020. The upcoming French municipal elections are scheduled for 15 and 22 March 2020, corresponding with the first and second rounds of voting, respectively. France will ban all gatherings of more than 100 people, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on 13 March 2020. Over 2,870 cases of COVID-19 infections and 61 deaths have been confirmed so far in France. EPA-EFE/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO

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Voters in France are taking to the polls on today despite fears over the spread of the coronavirus.

President Emmanuel Macron, for whom the two-round polls are a crucial mid-term test, has insisted that the polls to elect mayors and municipal councils must go ahead to assure democratic continuity in the country.

Fresh restrictions announced Saturday evening, including the closure of non-essential public places such as cafes, restaurants, cinemas and gyms. However, the elections will go ahead.

A recent opinion poll said 28 percent of potential voters in France were “concerned” about the risk posed by mingling at polling stations, often hosted by schools.

“It is important at this time, following the advice of scientists as we have done, to ensure the continuity of our democratic life and that of our institutions,” Macron said.

Via France 24 / Euronews / Le Monde / Le Parisien 

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