Macron, Le Pen prepare for key presidential debate

Paris, Apr 19 (EFE).- With one day to go before France’s presidential debate, key to Sunday’s election, incumbent president Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marie Le Pen are preparing to play their trump cards.

While Wednesday will not be the first time the two candidates confront each other in a presidential debate, it will be a decisive one.

In 2017, the confrontation between the liberal candidate and French nationalist ended with a clear victory for Macron, who was later elected with a majority of 66.1% of votes.

Le Pen admitted the debate, in which Macron had accused her of “lying” and being a “parasite,” was the “biggest failure” in her political career, but assured supporters she would not repeat the same mistakes this time around.

Since 2017, Le Pen, known for her hard-line policies, has worked to “undemonize” her party and its proposals by offering voters a more moderate and digestible discourse.

The far-right leader has abandoned some of her most controversial proposals, such as France leaving the European Union, as well as softened the tone on immigration policies, including banning the veil in France.

Instead, Le Pen has shifted her focus on energy prices and the consequences of the war in Ukraine, accusing Macron of being part of an “oligarchy” indifferent to rising costs and inflation.

Meanwhile, Macron arrives to Wednesday’s debate with a five year baggage of economic crisis, the pandemic and social discontent, forcing him to soften some of his most controversial proposals as well. EFE


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