Poles began voting in a presidential election while the French are voting in the second round of municipal elections in 5,000 towns and cities.

People wearing face mask and visor to protect against coronavirus sit behind a glass shield during a rehearsal of the vote for the local elections scheduled for Sunday, June 28, in Paris, France on June 26, 2020.
People wearing face mask and visor to protect against coronavirus sit behind a glass shield during a rehearsal of the vote for the local elections scheduled for Sunday, June 28, in Paris, France on June 26, 2020. (AP)

France and Poland are both holding elections on Sunday previously postponed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Poles began voting in a presidential election while the French are voting in the second round of municipal elections in 5,000 towns and cities.

Polish President Andrzej Duda, a 48-year-old conservative backed by the ruling party, is running against 10 other candidates as he seeks a second five-year term.

Most recent polls showed that no single candidate was likely to reach the 50% required to avoid a runoff. In that case, the two top vote-getters will face each other July 12.

Polling stations remain open until 1900 GMT, and exit polls will be announced immediately after. 

The final officials results are expected by Wednesday at the latest.

READ MORE: US, EU keep close eye as Poland heads to the polls

France

The voting to fill local offices in Paris and thousands of other places was suspended after the first round of the nationwide municipal elections on March 15, which produced decisive outcomes in some 30,000 other mostly small communes.

Voters are set to choose mayors and municipal councilors on Sunday at polling stations operating under strict hygiene rules. 

Face masks, soap or hand sanitizers and maintaining 1 metre between each person in lines are mandatory. Voters have been told to bring their own pens to sign the register.

People wearing protective face masks attend a voting during the presidential election at a polling station in Warsaw, Poland on June 28, 2020.
People wearing protective face masks attend a voting during the presidential election at a polling station in Warsaw, Poland on June 28, 2020. (Reuters)

Ahead of 2022 presidential election

The elections, though ostensibly focused on local concerns, are also seen as a key political indicator ahead of the 2022 French presidential election.

The main battleground is Paris, where the mayor is an influential figure in French politics and will oversee the 2024 Olympics. 

Paris Mayor Annie Hidalgo, a Socialist Party member, finished in March with a strong lead ahead of conservative candidate Rachida Dati.

French President Emmanuel Macron's 3-year-old centrist party is fielding municipal candidates for the first time and still lacks local roots across France. The party, Republic on the Move, doesn't have candidates in every race and in some instances is backing candidates from both the left and the right instead.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies