By NAN Contributor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. April 24, 2017: Voters in at least one French Caribbean territory like their counterparts in the mainland also choose centrist Emmanuel Macron in French Presidential elections held over the weekend.
Despite a lowered voter turnout in the French Caribbean territories of Martinique, Saint-Martin, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and St. Barts, voters on Guadeloupe, most voters handed Macron their votes on Saturday to help him advance to a May 7th run-off for the French presidency.
Preliminary results from the French election released in France last night show that Macron, 39, a former banker who last year launched his En Marche movement, won 23.3 percent of the votes cast overall in the French election to 22.7 percent for and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
They were followed by conservative candidate Francois Fillon with 19.8 percent and far-left challenger Jean-Luc Melenchon with 18.8 percent.
Reports from Guadeloupe say Macron won 30.22 percent of the votes cast their, while Mélenchon got 24.12 percent. Only just over 40 percent of eligible voters in Guadeloupe cast votes in the French Presidential election on Saturday, April 22 compared to over 52 percent in 2012.
In French Guiana and Martinique, voters chose the far left candidate Mélenchon over Macron, who had mistakenly called the country an island in the weeks leading up to the election. Mélenchon won over 35 percent of the votes in French Guiana days after the French government signed an agreement with representatives from Pou La gwiyann dékolé (Collective to Get Guiana Moving), the group that led a general strike that began on March 25 which caused unrest across the territory, that authorizes an emergency relief plan of up to 2.1 billion Euros, which includes funds for security, education, healthcare and business aid.
Mélenchon also won in Martinique with over 27 percent. However, voter turnout was also low with only 35 percent of the 311,000 eligible voters on Martinique voting by 5 p.m. local time Saturday, two hours before polls closed.
Results were not available for St. Martin and Saint Barts at press time.
French voters choose from 11 presidential candidates in a hotly contested race that is widely viewed as yet another test of the post-war liberal economic order following the shock victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election and the Brexit vote in the UK.
French’s Interior Ministry announced Sunday that the turnout had reached 69.4 percent, compared to 70.6 percent in the first round of presidential voting in 2012.
Macron and Le Pen will now face-off next month. Legislative or Parliamentary elections are due to follow in June.