New PM, first female Paris mayor on agenda in French vote
Published on Mar 30, 2014 12:42 PM
PARIS (AFP) - French voters go to the polls on Sunday for a second round of local elections that will result in Paris having a female mayor for the first time and, possibly, the country having a new prime minister.
With the ruling Socialists facing a drubbing, President Francois Hollande is expected to react by ordering major changes at the top of his beleaguered government. Popular Interior Minister Manuel Valls is widely tipped to replace current premier Jean-Marc Ayrault.
The vote, in which the first ballots were cast in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia, is also predicted to result in the far-right National Front establishing an unprecedented footprint in France's local government by winning control of as many as a dozen mid-sized towns.
In Paris, Socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo will be hoping to resist the national swing against her party and keep the French capital under the control of the left.
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