The sun was shining, finally after endless days of rain, in practically all of France this Sunday of the presidential elections in which almost 49 million French people are called to vote . But not even the splendid blue sky could prevent the shadow of abstention from looming, threatening, over a democratic process that has been marked by a high level of social disinterest between the blows of the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine and an electoral campaign almost invisible.
Added to this was the general feeling that everything had been decided in advance, that the 2017 finalists, the outgoing president, Emmanuel Macron, and the far-right leader Marine Le Pen, would repeat the play and meet again in two weeks in the final round, as has finally happened.
French President and centrist presidential candidate for reelection Emmanuel Macron thumbs up after voting for the first round of the presidential election,
Sunday, April 10, 2022 in Le Touquet, northern France. Polls opened across France for the first round of the country’s presidential election, where up to 48 million eligible voters will be choosing between 12 candidates. President Emmanuel Macron is seeking a second five-year term, with a strong challenge from the far right.
Like every Sunday, Simon waved the communist newspaper L’Humanité from one corner of the market in Place Saint-Denis, at the other end of the basilica where all the kings of France are buried until 1789, in this town on the impoverished outskirts parisian From midnight on Friday to Saturday, campaigning was prohibited, but nothing prevented him from showing the cover with the photo of the Communist Party candidate, Fabien Roussel, and engaging in conversation with whomever he wanted to listen.
He recognized that election day was rare, with little atmosphere after an also atypically soulless campaign. “It seems like any other Sunday,” he said. Of course, the market and the church were more crowded this Sunday than the polling stations in this city of the banlieueParisian, which traditionally registers one of the highest abstention rates in all of France. “The challenge is no longer just that people vote communist, but that they even go to vote today,” admitted this communist militant.