French elections:

Moscow(IP): The snap elections taking place in France "do not resemble democracy," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sunday.

Iran Press/Europe: "The first round of the parliamentary elections has occurred [in France]. They have two rounds, and the second one is likely to have been masterminded to manipulate the will of the voters during the first round. When some candidates can withdraw from the election after being talked into it by someone seeking to, as they say, win over conservatives and populists, it does not resemble democracy that much," Lavrov told Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin.

The minister added that if there were only one round of elections in France, the country would face drastic changes.

Last Sunday, French voters gave a clear lead to Jordan Bardella and Marine Le Pen's RN (33.15%) and to the left-wing alliance (27.99%). The presidential camp, on the other hand, received only 20% of the votes.

Jordan Bardella, 28, would be the new prime minister if the RN wins. This would limit Emmanuel Macron's ability to make controversial decisions, such as sending French troops to Ukraine. The right-wing rejects this idea.

In the absence of a majority, Macron could retain the current government and dissolve the National Assembly again in a year. His presidential term ends in 2027.

Voters can cast their ballots until 6 p.m., or 8 p.m. in large cities during the second round.

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