In Paris, Ukrainians had an opportunity to vote in the presidential elections. How did it happen and what is the mood of the voters – in the text by Opinion.
The polling station № 900102 in Paris located at the Vasyl Slipak Cultural Center, there Ukrainians had an opportunity to vote today. Unfortunately, it is the only one in France. Therefore, some were forced to cover hundreds of kilometers to fulfill their civic duty and vote for the candidate whom they entrust their future. The polling station was opened at 8.00 o’clock local time, however, the first visitor was waiting at the door at 7.25 already. The list of French voters was made of 3,544 people, most of whom live in Paris. I must say, although there is no official statistics on how many Ukrainians live on French territory, it will be correct to say that it does not cover all those who live here, however, the percentage of registered voters is only a small part of those who, under some circumstances, live in France.
It was very pleasant to see the commission, which mostly consisted of young people that received or receive education in French higher institutions. They helped voters with all the necessary advice and skillfully guided the process. Thanks to the good organization, there was no huge crowd in front of the door, and those short queues, which were formed from time to time, quickly moved forward, so voters did not have to wait for a long time.
In general, optimistic young people, coming out of the premises of the station, stopped at the signboard to make a selfie, older people went away for their business. In order for the process to keep up peacefully, both employees of the Ukrainian Embassy in France, and representatives of the French police were on the watch.
Among those who came to vote there were migrant workers, who came to the station after Sunday service in the temple, tourists, and people who came to Paris for business for only a few days, even they bothered themselves to register on the voter list. It seemed that this time they treated the vote more responsible than usual. One of the voters, a student who gets a degree in Paris, said that he was so curious about his choice that he was hardly able to fall asleep the night before. To my question, what made him come here, he answers that he is doing it for the sake of his future, because he plans to return to Ukraine, so for him, these elections are not just a tick in the ballot, but a deliberate and well-considered decision. Another young lady answered my question that after the Maidan, to vote – it is not the right, but the responsibility of everyone, in order for all these events not to be in vain.
So, for our compatriots, this day has become sort of a reason for getting together in a very friendly atmosphere, to wear bright vyshyvankas and not to stay away from important events that affect our future.
Text and photo by Inna Vlasyuk