At least in Paris, the sun of a day that started slightly warm, frames an election day where the French began to define what kind of country they want for the coming years. A very special choice, since the extreme right could come closer than ever to the presidency of France.
Almost 49 million eligible are called to the polls this Sunday to decide between twelve candidates presented in the first round of the presidential elections. For many, the contest will not only be central to establishing how they are projected in the next five years, but also a signal for a continent that is going through enormous difficulties.
The French presidential elections of 2022, the twelfth of the Fifth Republic, although they have the current president, the centrist Emmanuel Macron, leading the polls, and could be re-elected, has never had the extreme right, with Marine Le Pen at the head, with so many chances to stay for five years at the head of the Elysée Palace. The degree of apathy, not only in the face of Macron’s unfulfilled promises, but also in the political class, could mark another result: a historic abstention.
From that electoral promise of 2017, of a disruptive, intelligent, although somewhat arrogant young man, to the consolidation of a thriving, inclusive, egalitarian and innovative France, Macron has achieved little. Disenchantment, in addition to greater fragmentation, opens the way for the French to approach the extremes. Something that, that young and brilliant politician born in Amiens, has not been able to remove.
The candidates’ campaign has been suspended from midnight on Saturday and until 8:00 p.m. tonight, when the results will be known gradually after the recount of the “ballots”. How could you check Infobae in Paris, The polling stations began to function, without major setbacks, between 8:00 and 7:00 p.m. in most of the country, except in the large cities where it will last until 8:00 p.m. However, the first voters began to go to the polls on Saturday, in the overseas territories and abroad.
Despite the rise in infections by Covid-19 in recent days, the health protocol in the schools was light, which did not cause major delays for those who came to vote. If hydroalcoholic gel is available, but the use of a mask is not mandatory, although it is recommended for the authorities. There are also no capacity, or mandatory distancing, but if “entrance and exit must be separated”, at least the guidelines recommended by health officials.
The French Constitutional Council, on March 7, validated 12 candidacies for the first round, after the candidates obtained the 500 necessary signatures in at least thirty different departments to be qualified. The French, today, can vote between Nathalie Arthaud, Fabien Roussel, Emmanuel Macron, Jean Lassalle, Marine Le Pen, Eric Zemmour, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Anne Hidalgo, Yannick Jadot, Valérie Pécresse, Philippe Poutou and Nicolás Dupont-Aignan. This random order is important, as it is the order in which the candidates’ posters are posted, as well as the order in which they find the ballots.
Abstention is another threat to the French political system. The first projections confirmed a drop in attendance of three points compared to 2017. The participation rate in the first round of the presidential elections reached 25.48% at noon on Sunday, April 10, according to official figures reported by the Ministry of the Interior.
For comparison, in 2017, the turnout in the first round at noon was 28.54%. In 2002, at the same time, it was 21.4%, a record abstention for a presidential election in the last twenty years.
According to the latest polls, 72% of those consulted said they were sure to vote this Sunday. It was three points better than a week before. In 2017, 77.7% of voters participated in the first round and 74.5% in the second, with around a quarter of voters choosing not to vote.
The vote of the candidates
This morning, to the applause of his supporters, the candidate for president and deputy from rebel France, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, voted at a school in his constituency in Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône). He is the third candidate of the day who has gone to the polls for the first round, after Anne Hidalgomayor of Paris, and Philippe Poutou in Bordeaux (Gironde).
Further north, the other area with more candidates is Les-Hauts-de-France. We found that there did Emmanuel Macron, candidate for his re-electionwho voted in the town hall of Le Touquet. The candidate of the National Association, Marine Le Pen, voted at Hénin-Beaumont in Pas-de-Calaiswhere she is a deputy.
In the afternoon, each political group has chosen a space to receive information from the Ministry of the Interior, in charge of the election. President Emmanuel Macron, as a candidate, will await the count in the Porte de Versailles Center from 5:00 p.m.
like other years, As of 8:00 p.m., the French media begins to release the first estimates of the results of the first round. However, the National Commission for Control of the Electoral Campaign for the Presidential Electionthe CNCCEP and the Election Commissionin a press release dated April 4, they recalled the ban on publishing and broadcasting polls the day before and the day of the first and second rounds.
In that statement, they also noted that the main polling institutes will not conduct “exit” or “exit” polls. the disclosure of results or surveys is sanctioned with a fine of 75,000 euros.
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