x

Politics

Macron, Le Pen Square Off for Decisive Debate as Vote Looms

PARIS — In the climax of France’s presidential campaign, centrist President Emmanuel Macron and far-right contender Marine Le Pen will meet Wednesday evening in a one-on-one television debate that could prove decisive before Sunday’s runoff vote.

Both candidates have carefully prepared for the highly scrutinized debate that’s expected to last more than two hours.

Macron, 44, emerged ahead from the April 10 first round and is leading in opinion polls with a margin varying between 3 and 13 percentage points. But Le Pen, 53, has significantly narrowed the gap compared to the last presidential election five years ago, when she lost with 34% of the vote to Macron’s 66%.

In 2017, a similar debate struck a decisive blow to her campaign.

Le Pen had looked hesitant, seeking answers from notes piled up in front of her, and appeared to lose her composure at some point. She also made basic mistakes on several economic topics — which Macron immediately pounced on.

That proved disastrous for her image. Even in her own camp, she was criticized for being insufficiently prepared.

Meanwhile, the then 39-year-old Macron, despite his little political experience, seemed comfortable speaking about all kinds of issues and able to go deep into details in what appeared as a proof of seriousness.

Le Pen recently called the 2017 presidential debate the “biggest failure” of her political career.

This time, she has pledged to be better prepared, working “at home” with her closest advisers.

Both candidates need to broaden support before Sunday’s vote. Many French, especially on the left, say they still don’t know whether they will even go to the polls.

Le Pen is expected to appeal to those who have anti-Macron feelings, criticize his record and present her nationalist, anti-immigration stance as an alternative. She also aims at demonstrating that she has the stature of a potential president, and at promoting what she says are realistic proposals.

Macron, meanwhile, will advocate his pro-European views as the way to make France stronger in the world. He will seek to convince leftist voters that his pro-business stance shouldn’t deter them from choosing him.

In recent days, he acknowledged some would back him only to counter the far-right candidate.

“I want to convince women and men with diverse political points of view,” Macron said.

 

RELATED

ATHENS - Development and Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis said that the government is examining the possibility of extending the fuel pass, in an interview on Friday with RealFM.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

Mission, TNH’s New Travel Documentary Series with Clelia Charissis (Trailer)

Every weekend, TNH and Clelia Charissis are on a mission, traveling around Greece and the world to highlight places through the people we meet along the way.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.