French President Nicolas Sarkozy says a rule that election results can't be published before voting stations close is hypocritical and a throwback to the 20th century.

Sarkozy is running against nine other candidates in the first round of presidential elections Sunday.

A 1977 law says no results can be published before the last polling stations in mainland France close, to avoid swaying the outcome. The prosecutor's office sent a reminder to journalists Thursday that the fine for violations is up to (EURO)75,000 ($98,145).

Many expect results to be leaked early via Twitter or other online methods this year.

Sarkozy said on Europe-1 radio Thursday that the "world has become a village," and the law "is a form of hypocrisy...I consider myself resolutely in the 21st century."