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France's overseas territories begin voting in presidential ballot

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By Seamus Kearney
France's overseas territories begin voting in presidential ballot

Early voting has begun in France’s overseas territories for the first round of the country’s most closely-fought presidential race in decades.

This as final preparations are made ahead of Sunday’s main casting of ballots across France, where some 47 million people are eligible to take part.

A blackout on opinion polls and the candidates or their policies came into force at midnight on Friday.

Eleven candidates are in the running in the first round and two of them will go forward to the run-off vote in two weeks’ time.

The threat of terrorism was pushed to the top of the agenda in the final hours of the campaigning after a policeman was shot and killed on the Champs-Elysee.

Officials are promising tight security for the ballot, with tens of thousands of police and other security personnel on duty.

The country has already been under a state of emergency for many months, with soldiers patrolling key public places.