Due to a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, the city of Shanghai, China, has been under strict confinement for several days. Its inhabitants cannot move freely and, for the approximately 5,200 French people who live there, this means not being able to vote this Sunday.
In a press release published this Friday, April 8, the French Embassy in China indeed indicated that it “was decided not to open the polling stations in Shanghai for the first round of the French presidential election”.
The institution assures that its “repeated steps” to obtain “exceptional exit authorization for voters and members of polling stations and confined assessors”, have not convinced the Chinese authorities.
A “serious and complicated” situation
The latter declared to the French embassy: “given the serious and complicated situation in Shanghai, it is objectively impossible to fulfill the conditions for the organization by your consulate of the election, for the safety of all the people residing in Shanghai”.
The Constitutional Council was consulted, before resigning itself to not opening the polling stations this Sunday. However, this decision only concerns Shanghai, since in “Beijing, Canton, Chengdu, Wuhan and Hong Kong”, the ballot will take place as planned.
Regarding the second round of the presidential election, the embassy promises to do everything so that it “can be held regularly”. To achieve this, “the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the embassy and the general consulates” will work together, while informing voters of the evolution of the situation.