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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

France’s presidential election race is tighter than expected. Here’s what you need to know

An incumbent president standing for election for only the second time in his life; a candidate twice convicted of inciting racist and religious hatred polling in second place; another hard-right stalwart in third and the long-dominant left of French politics in disarray.

Then Russia invaded Ukraine.

With Europe’s eyes fixed firmly on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bloody war, priorities have quickly shifted: Ammunition stockpiles, high stakes diplomacy and even the threat of a nuclear strike have all entered the national debate.

Campaigning has been disrupted by the crisis, and several key candidates have had to backtrack on their past support for Putin.

Burnished by his experience on the world stage, most polling suggests that incumbent President Emmanuel Macron is likely to come out on top.
But with just days to go before the election, his closest rival Marine Le Pen is rising in the…

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