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French Guiana: Early voting gets underway for France's presidential election in Cayenne01:32

French Guiana: Early voting gets underway for France's presidential election in Cayenne

French Guiana, Cayenne
April 22, 2017 at 11:00 GMT +00:00 · Published

Voters in Cayenne voiced their hopes and priorities as they cast their ballots for the first round of the French presidential election, on Saturday.

One voter, Christiane, expressed the need to “show the French State that we are mobilised” adding: “not voting doesn’t mean anything. We need to first express ourselves via the ballots.” Another woman, Katia, said that her priority was “education, because there is a void and delay on this matter in Guiana but also in France.”

A social crisis which paralysed French Guiana for the past month ended on Friday night after an agreement between elected officials, the state and the collective leading the mobilisation, was signed.

Protesters have been on strike for the past month, demanding an increase in wages and an improvement in public safety. French Guiana - which has a population of 250,000 - remains a French overseas territory, whilst 50 percent of young people are unemployed and 30 percent of the population is reportedly without access to water or electricity.

Mired with tension and neck-and-neck poll results, the first round of the 2017 French presidential elections will be contested by a total of 11 candidates, with citizens in France voting on April 23. Should no candidate reach a majority, the top two candidates will go head-to-head in a second and decisive round, scheduled for May 7.

French Guiana: Early voting gets underway for France's presidential election in Cayenne01:32
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Description

Voters in Cayenne voiced their hopes and priorities as they cast their ballots for the first round of the French presidential election, on Saturday.

One voter, Christiane, expressed the need to “show the French State that we are mobilised” adding: “not voting doesn’t mean anything. We need to first express ourselves via the ballots.” Another woman, Katia, said that her priority was “education, because there is a void and delay on this matter in Guiana but also in France.”

A social crisis which paralysed French Guiana for the past month ended on Friday night after an agreement between elected officials, the state and the collective leading the mobilisation, was signed.

Protesters have been on strike for the past month, demanding an increase in wages and an improvement in public safety. French Guiana - which has a population of 250,000 - remains a French overseas territory, whilst 50 percent of young people are unemployed and 30 percent of the population is reportedly without access to water or electricity.

Mired with tension and neck-and-neck poll results, the first round of the 2017 French presidential elections will be contested by a total of 11 candidates, with citizens in France voting on April 23. Should no candidate reach a majority, the top two candidates will go head-to-head in a second and decisive round, scheduled for May 7.

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