Vladimir Putin has become the Joker in the great game of presidential power in France.
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For the first and only time in the election campaign, Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron sat face to face on Wednesday night in the presence of the French people.
Macron accused Le Pen of relying on the Russian government and on Putin. It was an attack that shook Le Pen. I exclaimed indignantly: – I am a free woman. I am patriot.
This was Le Débat’s most powerful televised moment. Macron attacked relentlessly as if he were the challenger and not the current president. He will not leave her.
Macron pointed to Russia’s involvement in the election campaign five years ago, targeting his election campaign. About Luban borrowing money from a Russian bank close to the Kremlin. And they did not pay off the loan. He wanted to tie Le Pen to Putin, as a borrower to his bank.
With a broad pen, Macron painted a picture of an opponent who is not critical of Russia for the annexation of Crimea nor the war in Syria. Macron launched the offensive shortly after Le Pen praised the president’s role as a diplomat before the war in Ukraine. That was the only positive thing she had to say about Macron during the nearly three-hour debate.
Macron has won the debate over international politics and France’s place in Europe. He was here at home. Le Pen has little experience in foreign policy, except for meetings with other populist leaders on the far right.
Le Pen did much better when the debate was about economics and purchasing power. It has succeeded, with great success, in making the increase in the prices of energy and other commodities a major theme of the election campaign. Le Pen talks about how everything is becoming more expensive, that wages are not enough, and that the elites, represented by Macron, do not care.
Macron had to turn to the defensive. He tried to defend his policy, at the same time claiming that Le Pen’s financial promises could not be kept. However, the experience of many voters with financial insecurity is Macron’s weak point in this election campaign. Le Pen described the economic consequences of Macron’s policies as appalling: – You have divided the country.
The candidates had different target groups that they approached. Macron spoke to left-wing voters about climate and minority rights. He painted a frightening picture of what society wants for Le Pen. Le Pen has tried to capitalize on the discontent expressed over the past five years, which has manifested itself in the Yellow Vest protests.
Most of all, the controversy showed that French voters faced a clear choice between two main directions: Le Pen’s nationalist renaissance and a Europe of nation-states. French-German Macron collaborated to create a stronger and more integrated Europe.
Macron described this presidential election as a referendum on the European Union, the environment and French secular society. But there is also a referendum on Macron’s five years in power.
In the average of the latest polls, Macron leads by 54 percent against Le Pen’s 46 percent. The distance is slightly larger than it was earlier in April, but smaller than it was in March. Macron does not feel safe. Turnout can determine the outcome. If many voters on the left do not exercise their right to vote on Sunday, Le Pen could win.
The first live television debate between French presidential candidates took place in 1974 when François Mitterrand met Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. The tradition of debate was broken only once, in 2002, when President Jacques Chirac refused to meet Marine Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen.
– said Chirac, who later won an overwhelming majority in the elections, in the face of intolerance and hatred, there can be no debate.
Since this is the only time the candidates meet, the debate may affect anonymous voters in the run-up to the election campaign. In 2017, it was in favor of Macron. Le Pen looked hesitant and insecure when Macron tore up her financial platform.
Macron scored a convincing victory five years ago. It will be smoother this time. It also showed a duel on Wednesday night. Le Pen was safer and better prepared. It also changed course to be accepted by larger groups of voters.
But Macron has not let her obscure what her radical right-wing party, the National Assembly, really stands for. and what separates them. he won.
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