French voters make historic choice for change

Marine Le Pen, President Front National. Photo: Global Panorama
Marine Le Pen, leader Front National. Photo: Global Panorama

Results of the first round of the French presidential election held on Sunday showed “traditional left and right ruling parties kicked out of electoral race for first time since postwar period”, with a duel between the National Front’s Marine Le Pen (21.4 percent) and centrist Emmanuel Macron (23.9 percent) set for the second round in two weeks, on Sunday, May 7.

Monaco’s French electors have been called to vote at the Saint Charles School on avenue Saint Laurent.

A total of 5,727 adults living in Monaco are entitled to vote in French polls, down by six percent since the last Presidential vote in 2012. Many of “Les enfants du pays” have lived for several generations in the Principality but are not Monegasque citizens.

Over the years they have missed out on many of the advantages of being Monegasque while at the same time their loyalties do not necessarily and automatically lie with France. Their numbers have slowly declined, largely due to the high cost of housing.

A symptom of this relative disaffection is the fact that voter turnout among this group is very low. Fewer than 50 percent of registered electors voted in 2012 (45.86 percent). Interestingly, the majority voted for outgoing President Nicholas Sarkozy, with almost 85 percent of the votes in the second round against Francois Hollande. It will be some time before their voting patterns are known for 2017.

Article first published April 23, 2017.

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