News

22 March 2017

French presidential debate

France’s main presidential candidates rounded on the far-right Front National’s Marine Le Pen in the first televised debate on Monday night, with the independent centrist Emmanuel Macron accusing her of lying and seeking to divide the country.

The three-and-a-half-hour live debate between the top five candidates saw Le Pen and Macron repeatedly exchange verbal blows. At the start of the debate, Macron, the 39-year-old former economy minister who has never run for election before, seemed subdued, perhaps more used to making speeches alone on stage than debating rivals. But when Le Pen accused him of being in favour of the burkini, a full-body swimsuit worn by Muslim women that created weeks of controversy in France last summer when some mayors banned it from beaches, Macron exploded.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/21/french-presidential-debate-le-pen-comes-under-fire-from-rivals