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Tuesday, 11 December, 2001, 10:08 GMT
France sets election date
Breaking News
The two rounds of France's presidential election have been set for 21 April and 5 May next year.

The decision, taken by the National Assembly, also fixes parliamentary elections for 9 and 16 June.

The presidential election is expected to pit the incumbent Jacques Chirac against the Socialist Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin - though Mr Jospin has not yet declared his candidacy.

More than 10 candidates are standing, but only the two winners of the first round qualify for the second vote.

Up to now French presidents have served for seven years, but the term has recently been reduced to five years.

The last parliamentary election, which brought in Jospin's left-wing majority, was in 1997.

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