Millions of French are summoned to the polls today to elect 1,757 councilors and regional
153 regional directors, in an election marked by bloody attacks of 13-N in Paris and the rise of the extreme right led by Marine Le Pen.
amid a massive military and police presence throughout the country, polling stations opened on time and without any problem. At noon (local time) the participation rate already reached 16.27%, representing a slight increase from the previous regional election in 2010, the government said, quoted by the ANSA news agency.
in total, 44.6 million French are eligible to vote, but the forecasts are that participation does not exceed 50%.
Among those who voted in the morning French President Francois stood out Hollande, who traveled to his electoral fiefdom in Tulle, Correze.
as soon fulfilled his civic duty, the president returned to Paris, where he expected the final results, the first since the government regrouped 22 regions in only 13, and five overseas territories.
in the north, meanwhile, Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front (FN), the main force of extreme French right, voted in Hénin -Beaumont, his political stronghold.
beyond the recent reform of regional districts, which promised to give more power to the big games, no doubt these elections are conducted in the shadow of the attacks last month when a group of suicide bombers killed 130 people in a wave of violence claimed by the militia of the Islamic State.
Against this background, the FN Le Pen and his xenophobic discourse and anti immigration gained popularity in recent weeks and polls give an unprecedented advantage in at least two regions. Nord Pas de Calais and Provence, Alpes and Cote d'Azur
in the first of these two regions Eurotunnel terminal linking is the European continent with the United Kingdom, and in recent months became one of the most dramatic and tense of the refugee crisis that is shaking the European Union scenarios.
Thousands of refugees from the Middle East and Africa they settled in a makeshift camp and in squalid conditions around the city of Calais waiting for an opportunity to sneak into the Eurotunnel and reach British soil.
Meanwhile, Republicans, strength right led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy, it could also recorded significant progress in these elections. According to the latest polls, could win up to eight regions.
confirmed these forecasts, the (PS) Socialist Party of President Hollande suffer a new electoral setback since it would control only three of the 13 regions.
in the previous regional elections in 2010, when they were still 22 regions, the PS had destroyed and conquered 21 of these districts.
early forecasts expect fresh for 22 (18 Argentina hour ).