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France Presidential Election 2017

French expats line-up to vote at embassies and consulates

French expats queue along the street outside the Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle to cast their vote in a polling station inside the school, in the first round of the 2017 French presidential election, in London, Britain April 23, 2017.
French expats queue along the street outside the Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle to cast their vote in a polling station inside the school, in the first round of the 2017 French presidential election, in London, Britain April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
3 min

From London to Berlin, Washington to Tel Aviv, French voters lined up at polling stations abroad at the weekend to cast ballots for one of the closest presidential elections in years back home.

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French citizens, who reside in Tunisia, line up to cast their votes for French presidential election, at a polling station in Tunis, Tunisia April 23, 2017.
French citizens, who reside in Tunisia, line up to cast their votes for French presidential election, at a polling station in Tunis, Tunisia April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

Around 1.3 million French people abroad are registered to vote -- representing around two percent of the total electorate.

In London -- often called the sixth biggest French city -- hundreds of people queued up outside the two polling stations well before they opened on Sunday, with some waiting up to two hours to vote.

"In London, we're expecting perhaps 50,000 voters, so it's going to be a busy day," said Edouard De Guitaut, in charge of a polling station at a French school in London's upmarket South Kensington.

Sunday's first round presidential election is being closely watched after Donald Trump's victory in the US election and Britain's shock vote to leave the EU.

"I have dual nationality, so I voted against Brexit. I think it's really important to vote everywhere, because I'm affected everywhere," said student Elise Lauriot Prevost.

Hundreds of French expats queue in front of the consulate in Berlin, Germany April 23, 2017, to cast their vote in the first round of the presidential election in France
Hundreds of French expats queue in front of the consulate in Berlin, Germany April 23, 2017, to cast their vote in the first round of the presidential election in France REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski

In Berlin, people braved rain and hail in in queues extending for up to 200 metres (yards) outside the French embassy in the shadow of Brandenburg Gate.

Residents in French overseas territories such as Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean had begun voting on Saturday, along with expatriates in the United States, Canada and Latin America.

Security measures were strengthened at the 69 polling stations across the United States following a jihadist's killing of a policeman in Paris on Thursday night that put the country on edge after a string of bloody terror attacks.

Two men carry the French and Canadian flags as French citizens line up to cast their vote for Sunday's French presidential election at the Collège Stanislas in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 22, 2017.
Two men carry the French and Canadian flags as French citizens line up to cast their vote for Sunday's French presidential election at the Collège Stanislas in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 22, 2017. REUTERS/Dario Ayala

The French consulate in New York was briefly evacuated late Saturday after a suspicious vehicle raised fears of a bomb threat.

In the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, voters cast their ballots Saturday in the French embassy, housed in the grandiose Ortiz Basualdo Palace.

 

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