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French nationals in Moscow expect presidential polls to bring changes to their country

April 23, 2017, 18:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The situation around the French embassy in central Moscow is calm, with no queues of those willing to cast their votes

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© Martin Bureau/Pool Photo via AP

MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. French nationals who took part in Sunday’s presidential elections at a polling station in the French embassy in Moscow told TASS they want changes for their country.

"We expect changes. Another question is what kind of changes we will see," a French national who introduced himself as Etienne told a TASS correspondent. "Everything will depend on whether [the next president] will be capable of that."

Another Frenchman, Roman, was of the same opinion. "Definitely, changes!," he said when asked what he expected from the presidential polls. In his words, despite security measures taken by the authorities, ongoing street protests and growing contradictions in society, as well as threats of further terror attacks call for changes.

Most of those polled by TASS said they want cardinal changes in relations between Paris and Moscow.

By mid-day, the situation around the French embassy in central Moscow was calm, with no queues of those willing to cast their votes. People were coming in small groups, with children, ot alone.

People said citing their friends that more voters had come in the morning although none said there had been long lines here.

Meanwhile, French media published photos from polling stations in London featuring queues of several hundred meters. Apart from that, they cited people in Singapore, Tokyo and Sao Paolo as saying they had to wait from two to three hours in a queue to get inside the polling station to be able to cast their votes.

In France, where polling stations opened at 08:00 a.m. local time (09:00 a.m. Moscow time), the voter turnout as of noon was 28.54% Notably, the turnout was higher than at the polls in 2012 (28.29%) but lower than in 2007 (31.21%).

More than 66,000 polling stations opened in France and overseas in the Western hemisphere. France’s 45 million electors have registered to participate in the voting, where eleven candidates are running for presidency. The voting in the Western hemisphere’s polling stations took place on Friday.

First preliminary results may be announced before midnight. Publication of any surveys or comments on the voting, as well as statements from winners are outlawed, and violators may face fines from 75,000 to 350,000 euros.

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