The first round of the so-called “close presidential race” begins in France on Sunday (23 April) amid tight security following the killing of a policeman in Paris three days ago. On Saturday, slightly less than 1 million voters voted in remote French regions, one day before the European Union officially began voting.
Four of the 11 most extreme right-wing candidates Marin Le Pen, conservative candidate Francois Fillon, left-wing extremist Jean-Luc Milenchon and Liberal Alliance Emmanuel Macron are believed to be candidates for a place in the May 7 run-off. Since no candidate is expected to receive 50% of the vote, two winners will clearly face each other in the second round.
To ensure that no undesirable accident occurred during the election, more than 50,000 police and 7,000 soldiers were deployed all over France. Terrorist threats topped the electoral agenda mostly because France has been in a state of emergency for many months.More than 47 million people have been eligible to cast their ballots in the country’s disputed presidential election for decades, and opinion polls that went into effect on Friday were banned.
With anti-globalization candidates at the preparatory stage, elections are closely monitored by outsiders because of the political environment around the world. All candidates presented different visions for France – the fifth largest economy in the world – when it comes to key issues such as terrorism, economy and immigration.Political critics and opinion pollsters hesitate to judge any surprise result, especially after the results of the US elections and the British referendum.
“This is the first time that media expectations published on the first day of the vote are not expected to give us the names of the two candidates who will participate in the second round – the vote will be very soon, it is unusual – never the presidential election was very chaotic,” he said. Nicholas Lebourg, a political historian at the University of Montpellier, to Deutsche Welle.