December 6, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Presidential election: The French in Montreal make their voices heard

Presidential election: The French in Montreal make their voices heard

The gray weather and the long queue around the Palais des Congress did not prevent the French in Montreal from casting their ballots on Saturday in the first round of the French presidential election.

Also read: Macron, who was in the lead, faced a tight gap with Le Pen in the second round

People attended from 7 a.m. two hours before the start of voting to prevent a recurrence of the nightmare of the last presidential election (2017).

“We waited four hours five years ago, so we’ll tell ourselves we’re still on time,” Moel Amsellem testified with a smile, having already waited more than an hour.

While some are happy to see the enthusiasm of the natives for this election, others fear that they may have to wait due to their lack of motivation.

“I have a lot of friends who do not come to vote because it takes a long time. That fact must be taken into account. “

The French Consulate in Montreal took all possible steps to avoid further delays by selecting a venue with a large reception capacity and adding more than ten polling stations.

The present French, however, are armed with patience to assert their right to vote, especially since their interest in the election campaign has not diminished abroad.

Recent polls have also shown that the gap between outgoing President Emmanuel Macron and National Rally candidate Marine Le Pen has narrowed, with two candidates in the second round likely to be the same as in 2017. .

The Radical Left candidate, Jean-Luc Melenchon, began to advance in voting intentions, putting himself in front of the most controversial right-wing candidate, Eric Zemmour.

Keep in mind that the French also had a choice between candidates Valerie Pecresse (Les Republicans) and Anne Hidalgo (Socialist Party) from the most established parties a few years ago, but in recent times their interest has faded. In all, 12 candidates are vying for the presidency.

“It simply came to our notice then. One of the main themes is still the environment, and with the latest IPCC report giving us three years, it’s a little bit now or never, ”said 27-year-old Julia Fortin Morey.

“There were very few people who did not vote five years ago and are here today. It has awakened everyone to everything that happened to Kovid‌ and now Ukraine, ”said Ms.Me Has lived in Amsellam, Montreal for ten years.

And compared to other years of activity, the lack of election campaigns conducted by candidates in France has not made it easier for voters to choose.

“Even now, I may be 1:30 am away from voting, I’ll decide yet, because there has not been a big formal debate this year,” Maëlle Amsellem said.

The present French are all the same in one respect: they had to fulfill their duty as citizens for the country in which they were growing up.

“It’s a political and social event, the atmosphere is good and people are happy to be there,” Luig Hughes summed up within minutes of casting his ballot.

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Briefly about the French presidential election

  • The President of the French Republic is elected for a five-year term (quinquennium).
  • Candidates wishing to compete must collect 500 sponsorships from pre-elected officials.
  • The president is elected by direct universal suffrage, i.e. by an absolute majority of the votes cast by the electorate.
  • If this majority does not come in the first ballot, the second ballot should be held after 14 days.
  • Voting will take place on Sunday in metropolitan France, but will take place the day before at polling stations abroad.

The polling stations of the French Consulate in Montreal are in the statistics

  • 67,132 French people will be registered at the Montreal Consulate in 2022;
  • 39 polling stations (compared to 24 stations in 2017);
  • 4000 proxies were sent for 1er Election round;
  • More than 90% of the registrants at this consulate live in Montreal;
  • 40% participation rate in 1er 2017 round.