French in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina begin Votingإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
French citizens living in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina began voting early Saturday in France's presidential elections, 19 hours ahead of polls opening in France.
A polling station at the French consulate in Rio de Janeiro opened its doors at 8:00 am local time (11:00 GMT) and was scheduled to close at 6:00 pm (21:00 GMT).
"This is the first time that the French citizens living abroad don't vote on the same day as the rest of the French," said a French diplomat. "They will vote in the Americas and Antilles Islands on Saturday."
The new arrangement is designed to increase turnout because this time, the French living in the Western Hemisphere will be voting without knowing the results of polling in France.
About 15,000 French nationals have registered to vote in Brazil, a 38-percent increase over the election of 2007.