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French Set to Choose New President

The people of France will choose a new president on Sunday in the second and final round of the country's elections — and this time it will be a straight left-right choice.

The vote will be a run-off between the two winners of last month's first round, conservative Nicolas Sarkozy and socialist Segolene Royal. Both have been fighting for the center-ground of French politics and, in particular, for the supporters of Francois Bayrou, the independent candidate who failed to qualify in last month's preliminary election.

Twelve candidates were on the ballot for the initial round of voting April 22. Sarkozy and Royal garnered the most votes, moving them into the final battle May 6.

Although most independent voters have been telling opinion pollsters that they lean towards Royal, Sarkozy is still ahead in the polls as Election Day approaches. Here are brief profiles of the two candidates, in order of their standing in pre-election polls:

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