March 20, 2017
PARIS (AP) — The five leading candidates for France’s presidential election are holding their first debate Monday, with centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen leading polls, and jobs and security among voters’ top concerns.
The televised evening debate comes after France was shaken by a weekend attack on soldiers at Paris’ Orly airport, a reminder of security challenges the new president will face. The list of 11 candidates was finalized Saturday. The first-round vote is set for April 23; the top two candidates go to a runoff May 7.
Macron and Le Pen will be joined at the debate by conservative Francois Fillon, Socialist Benoit Hamon and far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon. The five are expected to be the largest vote-getters in the first round.