- Title: FRANCE: Villagers in Provence go to the polls to choose a new president
- Date: 22nd April 2007
- Summary: (W3)BANDOL PORT, PROVENCE, FRANCE (APRIL 22, 2007)(REUTERS) BOATS MOORED IN PORT OF BANDOL FISHING BOATS IN THE HARBOUR BANDOL VILLAGE SQUARE WOMAN BUYING SOME VEGETABLES PAN OF THE MARKET
- Embargoed: 7th May 2007 13:00
- Location: France
- Country: France
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVABMP22I0JV070P3IIVU8UEOY3L
- Story Text: Villagers from the hills and ports of sunny Provence in southeast France flock to polling stations to take part in the presidential election on Sunday. Some say they still don't know who they'll vote for. People all over France cast their vote on Sunday (April 22), with voters flocking from the hills and port villages of the Provence to play their part in one of the tightest French presidential elections.
Kamal Oumena from the village la Cadiere d'Azur in the hills of Provence said that it was as important to vote as it was to go to church on Sundays.
"It's important for me to vote, as important as going to mass," he said. "The mass is more important but it's a question of doctrine. It's important go to mass too, we can't go voting if we don't give our confessions to God first."
Voter Christian Delaud said he would vote for Socialist candidate Segolene Royal who, along with right-wing candidate Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to emerge at the top from a field of 12 candidates, including hard-left Trotskyists, a Green, an anti-globalisation activist and two right wing nationalists, to contest a run-off on May 6.
"I think that the candidate I voted for will be at the top, with Nicolas Sarkozy. You can't avoid that," Delaud said.
But the surveys suggest up to a third of France's 44.5 million voters are not sure of their final choice and neither third-placed centrist Francois Bayrou and veteran far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen has given up hope.
"It's true that I don't still know for who I'm going to vote," market trader Christophe Roussel from the port village of Bandol said.
"I will decide, in the afternoon I think, when I have seen their programme a bit more, I think that I will make my decision this afternoon, or maybe for the second round. But it's true that I'm undecided."
Some 44.5 million people can vote in one of France's tightest presidential elections. Initial results will be known soon after voting ends at 8.00 p.m. (1800 GMT) on Sunday night.
National Front leader the far right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen shocked France in the last election in 2002 by beating Socialist Lionel Jospin in the first round before losing a run-off to Jacques Chirac, who is not seeking a third term.
Sarkozy, a combative former interior minister, promises to crack down on crime and improve life for a "silent majority" of hard-working French. Royal, who is aiming to be France's first woman president, has pledged to re-unite a divided nation.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None