Polls opened in France on Sunday in a presidential run-off election that could see Socialist challenger Francois Hollande defeat incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy by capitalizing on public anger over the government's austerity policies. Preliminary results are expected around 6 pm (GMT).
Hollande beat Sarkozy by about half a million votes in the first round of voting on April 22, which saw 10 candidates competing for the job of running this nuclear-armed country with a permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the next five years.
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Some 57,000 French citizens residing in Israel are eligible to vote in the race will also be making their way to the ballot boxes to cast their votes. The first round of voting saw 82% of the eligible Israeli voters give their vote to Sarkozy who is seen by many as a friend of Israel.
Casting his vote: Gilad Shalit (Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv )
Among the Israelis who lined up to vote in the decisive round was none other than Gilad Shalit, who even met with Sarkozy in the Elysee Palace in France earlier this year. Sarkozy had led efforts to have Shalit released from Hamas captivity.
French residents and Israelis with dual passports will be able to vote at the French consulate as well as at special polling stations established in Tel Aviv, Netanya, Haifa, Ashdod and Beersheba.
AP contributed to the report
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