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    People wait in line to vote in the second round of 2017 French presidential election at a polling station in Lyon, France

    French Voters in Presidential Runoff Election Desperate, Frustrated

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    2017 French Presidential Election: Round 2 (36)
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    France is holding a runoff election on Sunday, with some 25 percent of the French citizens preferring to abstain from voting and the rest choosing the lesser of two evils between centrist Emmanuel Macron and right-wing Marine Le Pen.

    METZ (France) (Sputnik) – A Sputnik correspondent went to the French region of Grand Est to discover the sentiments of the locals about the election.

    Voting to oppose, not to support

    The general sentiment of this election is to vote against one of the two candidates, rather than express to support one of them.

    "People are dissatisfied with existing political system. There are always same people with the same proposals. Even if we have a 'new' candidate, it is not at all reassuring. Anyway we do not have a real choice," Eric, and IT consultant, working in neighboring Luxembourg, said.

    A lot of people do not have high expectations for Macron’s presidency, believing that he came from the same system that has failed and fearing that he was too young to govern a country.

    "The question is whether Macron is really eligible to do what he promised. Everything is set for Macron to win… But people are fed up, we saw it on the example of Hayange [the city in the eastern France currently ran by a member of the National Front party] whose future was threatened by the closing of Arcelor plant, and some years ago people voted for [ex-French President Nicolas] Sarkozy who promised to keep the plant running," Benjamin, a lawyer, said.

    He added that President Francois Hollande said the same thing about another plant in another city, but "those were empty promises."

    "So the discourse of FN [the National Front party] is the following — the left had the power and failed, the right failed as well, so give us a chance. We can also stick to Le Pen’s ideas concerning immigration, because people are tired of the existing policy. We do not have either socialists or republicans in the second tour, which is a strong sign," the lawyer said.

    Anne, a retired university professor, however, expressed doubts that Le Pen would be able to govern such a powerful economy, as France.

    "[Le Pen] does not have the political entourage capable of leading France. She has always been in the opposition, criticizing the existing power," she said.

    Nevertheless, the retired professor said that Le Pen had support of certain social castes neglected by the existing French government.

    Abstention

    While polls of numerous institutes show that the abstention rate is projected to be about 25-27 percent in the runoff, some of the French citizens see abstention as an extremely negative phenomenon.

    "The right to vote is essential. [Abstantion] is harmful for social interests. We have democracy, so we need to exercise our right to vote," Johanne, a middle-aged store manager, told the Sputnik corresponding, adding criticizing casting of empty ballots.

    Her sentiment seems to be shared by everybody who came to the polling station in a Barbot college in the city of Metz.

    The turnout in the second round of the French presidential election is estimated at 65.30 percent as of 15:00 GMT, the country’s interior ministry said. The figure is lower than during the first round of the election, held on April 23, when the turnout was 69.42 percent at the same time.

    The first official results of the runoff election will be announced by the French Interior Ministry at 18:00 GMT.

    Topic:
    2017 French Presidential Election: Round 2 (36)

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