France Presidential Vote –

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France Presidential Vote –

Today France goes to the polls on Sunday for the first round of a bitterly fought presidential election, crucial to the future of Europe.

We can only hope that French voters retain their respect for democracy and human decency and made the correct choice for France.

Over a quarter of registered voters cast their ballots by midday Sunday in the first round of the French presidential election that is being watched eagerly across Europe and further afield.

The turnout of 28.5 percent in mainland France was in line with the last election, in 2012, won by socialist President Francois Hollande, and slightly below the midday turnout of 31.2 percent in 2007.

Tomorrow, scientists all over the world will gather to unite against obscurantism. The next day, France will face a difficult vote against the same brand of obscurantism.

To everyone who will take part in the March for Science: know that France will always be a homeland for scientists and academics.

In particular, I want to make France the global leader in research on climate change and environmental transition.

As climate skepticism is on the rise and because of the urgency that our environment faces, I will encourage public research, facilitate public/private partnerships, and amplify our efforts in terms of innovation. To reinforce French excellence in these fields, foreign specialists will be eligible to expedited visa processing. A specific and pluriannual residence permit will be implemented, as part of a general policy of openness to all researchers and talents.

Facing rising distrust, science must accept its social responsibility, and France must stay true to itself. You can count on me to defend knowledge, progress, and the values of the Enlightenment.

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