CNN World News Actuality Presented By Claire Evren
French Presidential 2017 – Article By Claire Evren
To elect the new French president, voters go to the polls twice. Unless one can get a majority of more than 50 per cent of the vote in the first round (held on April 23rd this year), the two candidates who receive the highest scores face each other in the run-up (May 7th).
Elections are always held on Sundays in France.
The campaigns end at midnight the Friday before the election, then on election Sunday by law no polls can be published and no electoral publication and broadcasts can be made.
Here are the five candidates who have been regularly polling at more than 10 per cent of the vote.
French Presidential Debate – Presidential Candidates: François Fillon, Republicans, centre right. Emmanuel Macron, independent, centrist. Marine Le Pen, National Front, far-right. Jean-Luc Melenchon, France Insoumise, far-left and Benôit Hamon, Socialist, centre left.
The three-and-a-half-hour live debate between the top five candidates
At the start of the debate, Fillon mostly quiet but with a few strong moments, particularly on pensions and foreign policy. Macron, the 39-year-old former economy minister, seemed enthusiastic, more used to making speeches alone on stage than debating rivals. But when Le Pen accused him of being in favour of the burkini, Macron exploded.
“You are lying by twisting the truth,” he said, accusing her of “dividing” society. Later, she attacked Macron for being a former investment banker, then again on foreign policy, “What you’re saying means nothing. We don’t understand any of it.”
For much of the debate, Fillon stood back, attempting to look reserved and presidential. He didn’t tackle Le Pen on immigration or security, but then he savaged her plans to leave the euro. “You want to drag the country into social and economic chaos,” he told Le Pen.
“That’s called Project Fear, Mr Fillon. It was used before Brexit,” shot back Le Pen, who has pledged a referendum on France’s EU membership.
Macron, staunchly pro-Europe, noted that “all those who said Brexit will be wonderful … ran away and hid”.
Francois Fillon, The Republicans
When Mr Fillon, won his centre-right party’s nomination for the presidency he immediately became the favourite.
Fillon: “I am the only candidate which can bring about a national recovery. A real change of politics is needed and I’m the only one who could have a stable majority to deliver it. I have experience, and the will to do this”.
Francois Fillon, the right’s candidate to be president, wants to cut bureaucracy and free up businesses to hire more staff.
Fillon, a former prime minister, concluded the debate by saying: “I have some flaws. Who hasn’t? But I know how to run a small town, a region, a government.”
Macron: Thank you for this debate. I want to reconcile opinions. Our country is divided, by fear, and by the way some people play on fear. You are not the problem – the problem is that the established order is not the right one. I propose pragmatism, with zero tolerance. My project is one that will make France proud. Profound change, that’s our project. It’s a profound renewal of French politics. I want France, our country, to offer a chance – a chance for each and every one of you.
Le Pen stressed security and immigration issues. “I want to put an end to immigration – that’s clear,” she announced, before talking about a rise of Islamic fundamentalism in France and saying the security situation in France was “explosive”.
Mélenchon: We cannot affront the threats the world faces with hands tied by money. I want to give the republic back to France by relieving it of this presidential monarchy. I am ready for this responsibility … to put in place a programme that will upset lots of vested interests.
Hamon: I’m offering you a vote that will be useful to you, your children, your grandchildren. You are used to voting against; I suggest you vote for: for the environment, for purchasing power for the poorest families; for a sixth republic; for a desirable future.