France tightens security on election day (Photo: EPA)

The Minister added that military troops would also be present in cities on April 23rd, the day of the vote and a run-off election between the top two candidates is scheduled for May 7th.

France has been in a state of emergency since a series of terrorist attacks hit Paris in November 2015, leaving a total of 130 people dead.

The race for the presidency features Francois Fillon, Emmanuael Macron, Benoit Hamon, Jean-Luc Melenchon, and Marine Le Pen.

Incumbent president François Hollande of the Socialist Party (PS) was eligible to run for a second term, but declared on December 1st, 2016, that he would not seek re-election in light of low approval ratings, making him the first incumbent president of the Fifth Republic not to seek re-election.

This is also the first French presidential election in which nominees of both the main centre-left and centre-right parties were selected through open primaries. The presidential election will be followed by a legislative election to elect members of the National Assembly on June 11th and 18th./.

Compiled by BTA