PARIS (AP) — The two front-runners for the French presidency clashed spectacularly in the campaign’s first televised debate between leading candidates Monday night.
All five candidates landed punches during vigorous discussion on the big issues for France: jobs, terrorism, immigration, Europe.
But the faceoff between independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right populist Marine Le Pen provided political theater, even moments of high drama in pitting two opposing visions of France.
Macron’s performance, in particular, was being closely watched. One of the big surprises of the election has been the success of the former economics minister’s new-look campaign, positioning himself as a centrist alternative to France’s traditional left-right politics.
France’s leading candidates are facing off on a primetime TV debate Monday in the country’s first presidential event before the April 23 first round vote. To watch the debate live in English on FRANCE 24 at 9pm Paris time, click on the player below.
“I won’t be Merkel’s vice-chancellor” – Le Pen crushes opponents in last night’s debate