PARIS (Reuters) - France will choose on Sunday either centrist Emmanuel Macron or far-right Marine Le Pen as the eighth president of the Fifth Republic.
The new leader will have just over a month to take over from outgoing Socialist President Francois Hollande, form a new government and push to win a majority in the June legislative elections.
Here is an approximate timeline of key moments in the coming weeks.
May 7: French polls for the second-round of the presidential election open at 0800 (0600 GMT). Poll stations close at 1900 (1700 GMT), except for the main cities where they close at 2000 (1800 GMT). The winner is expected to be known at 2000 local time.
May 8: The president-elect makes a first official appearance alongside Hollande at Paris’ Arc de Triomphe for the annual ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to commemorate Victory in Europe Day and the surrender of Nazi forces on May 8, 1945.
May 9-13: Hollande’s outgoing Socialist government resigns during this period, paving the way for the president-elect to take office the following week. Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve’s government will continue to run day-to-day government business until the new president is sworn in.
May 10: France’s Constitutional Council officially announces the final results of the 2017 presidential election.
May 13-14: The new president is likely to be sworn by Monday May 15 in a transfer of power ceremony at the Elysee presidential palace where the two leaders will meet and the codes for France’s nuclear weapons arsenal will be handed over. No precise date has yet been set for the ceremony.
The president will then name the new prime minister who will work on forming a cabinet. In 2012, the full government was named within two days.
The two candidates have said they will travel abroad relatively quickly. Macron said his first trip would be to see troops based overseas, while Le Pen said she would travel to Brussels to discuss her plans for Europe.
It is unclear when those trips could take place, but Hollande in 2012 traveled to Berlin on the same day as he was sworn in.
May 15-19: Candidates from all parties will present during the week their credentials for the June legislative elections for the 577 parliamentary seats at the National Assembly.
May 22: Campaigning begins for the legislative elections.
May 25-27: The new president will have what is expected to be the first contact with foreign leaders. The new president will first attend the NATO heads of state meeting in Brussels on May 25 before traveling to Sicily for a G7 leaders’ summit that brings together leaders of the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan.
June 11: The first-round of the lower house legislative elections take place. Candidates with more than 50 percent of the vote and securing equivalent to a quarter of registered voters is elected. Those with more than 12.5 percent of the vote can run in the second-round runoff.
June 18: Second-round of legislative election takes place. The top candidate is elected.
June 19: A government reshuffle is likely on the basis of the legislative election results.
Compiled by John Irish; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Leigh Thomas