Security tight as France prepares for presidential vote
Early voting began overseas Saturday in France’s most nail-biting election in generations, and the 11 candidates seeking to become the country’s next president silenced their campaigns as required to give voters a period of reflection.
Opinion polls pointed to a tight race among the four top contenders vying to get into the May 7 presidential runoff that will decide who becomes France’s next head of state. But the polls also said that decision was largely in the hands of the one-in-three French voters who were still undecided.
Polls opened in France’s far-flung overseas territories but voting wouldn’t start until Sunday on the French mainland. France’s 10 percent unemployment, its lackluster economy and security issues topped voters’ concerns.
Political campaigning was banned from midnight Friday until the polls close at 8 p.m. Sunday.
Polls suggested that far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, an independent centrist and former economy minister, were in the lead.