French Conservatives pick two finalists in race for presidential nomination

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The conservative French right-wing Les Republicains party will choose between Valerie Pecresse and Eric Ciotti to be its presidential candidate in 2022, based on the results of a party vote in the first round on Thursday.

Party leader Christian Jacob said Valerie Pecresse, the president of the Ile-de-France region and the only woman in the race, and Eric Ciotti, a lawmaker in the French National Assembly, went to the final vote.

The result of that second round is due on Saturday around 2.30 pm local time (1330 GMT).

French opinion polls currently rank President Emmanuel Macron as the likely winner of the 2022 elections, and the far-right politician Marine Le Pen of the Rassemblement National party is considered his closest rival.

(REUTERS)