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France Votes for a New President | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People walk across Place de la Concorde on the eve of the French presidential election in Paris, France, May 6, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Paris – Amidst tight security measures, French electors will be back to ballot boxes today in the second and decisive round of presidential elections, which will determine the president for the next five years.

Emmanuel Macron – highly possible to win – would be the youngest president since the foundation of the French republic 170 years ago.

Until Friday, the elections’ result was almost predictable after a survey showed that Macron not only did advance Marine Le Pen but has also achieved additional progress after the intense televised debate between the two rivals on Wednesday.

The accusations that went viral claiming that Macron is practicing taxes evasion and has secret banking accounts offshore quickly disappeared after his firm denial and the absence of any evidence.

However, the great surprise came three hours before the “electoral silence” that bans candidates, their supporters and media means from publishing or announcing any news that might influence the 47 million electors – Chan4 published an enormous amount of pictures, contracts and emails of officials from Macron electoral campaign and were promoted as Macron Leaks.

“We knew that this kind of risk would be present during the presidential campaign, because it has happened elsewhere. Nothing will be left without a response,” French President Francois Hollande said.

The political party of Macron En Marche! (On the Move), said that some of the documents are valid and were obtained several weeks ago after both personal and professional mailboxes of party leaders were hacked. Other documents in circulation are bogus, the party added.

The election commission, which supervises the electoral process, warned social and traditional media not to publish the hacked emails. “The commission stresses that publication or republication of these data…could be a criminal offense,” it said.