French voters are choosing lawmakers in the lower house of parliament in a vote that is crucial for newly-elected president Emmanuel Macron.

Some 7,882 candidates are running for 577 seats in the National Assembly in Sunday’s first round of the two-stage legislative elections. Top vote-getters advance to the decisive second round June 18.

Macron’s year-old centrist movement, Republic on the Move, is seeking an absolute majority to be able to implement his campaign promises, which include simplifying labor rules and making it easier to lay off workers in hopes of boosting hiring.

Polls suggest the elections will strongly favor Macron’s party and dramatically shake up French politics, punishing the traditional left and right parties and leaving no single strong opposition force.

Source: Associated Press

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