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Thursday April 19, 2012 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday May 26, 2013 MYT 2:08:45 AM
PARIS: France will impose a fine of up to 75,000 euros (US$98,250) on those who publish election results ahead of the official announcement, said the country's poll watchdog on Wednesday.
"No poll, no partial result, no estimate of the results can be broadcasted on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 before 8pm local time (1800 GMT)," said a press release from the Commission Nationale de Controle de la Campagne (CNCCEP), an institution that regulates pollsters, according to Xinhua news agency.
"The law prohibits any form of publication, distribution or comments concerning the election result," said the statement, adding that "this will ban all broadcasts through the press, especially radio and broadcast media, online (websites and blogs) and social networks."
According to a commission member, these measures are to prevent leaks of voting trend and "to protect the last voter to vote."
The CNCCEP is expected to give a more detailed plan on control of the potential leaks on Friday, though it would be a daunting task in an age of social media.
On Sunday, 44.3 million registered French voters are expected to cast their ballot for the first round of the presidential election in polling stations which close at 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) and at 8 p.m. local time (1800 GMT) in the big cities. BERNAMA
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