April 22 - French nationals in Australia and Japan are amongst the first to vote in presidential elections. Julie Noce reports.
French nationals living overseas cast their ballots Sunday in the first round of presidential elections. In Sydney Australia citizens held mixed opinions. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ATIENNE MARC SAYING: "I think Sarkozy has made a lot of mistakes. So I essentially voted for change." (SOUNDBITE) (French) JOSEPHINE NASSEAU SAYING: "I really wanted to vote, because I wanted to express my support for Sarkozy, because I like his policies. And though I live in Australia I always follow the news, and I think he's done a fine job." Of all the candidates running, current French president Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to face Socialist party candidate Francois Hollande in run off elections the first week of May. Amongst the list of concerns for voters in France-- unemployment and the economy. Even for citizens living abroad, domestic issues are paramount. This French national lives in Japan. (SOUNDBITE) (French) 42-YEAR-OLD YOGA INSTRUCTOR, MARIE CLAIRE MOUNES, SAYING: "With all the problems we have in France, we need to first and foremost (focus) on the problems we have in France, and afterwards, if we are able, then help others. But what I wish is that we take care of the French first." There are more than 1 million French citizens living outside the country who are registered to vote. Julie Noce, Reuters