French presidential candidates trade barbs in first televised debate

World Today

From left to right, Conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon, Independent centrist presidential candidate for the presidential election Emmanuel Macron, Far-left presidential candidate for the presidential election Jean-Luc Melenchon, Far-right presidential candidate for the presidential election Marine Le Pen and Socialist candidate for the presidential election Benoit Hamon pose for a group photo prior to a television debate at French TV station TF1 in Aubervilliers, outside Paris, France, Monday, March 20, 2017. 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. (Patrick Kovarik/Pool Photo via AP)

The top five candidates in France’s presidential election traded barbs in their first televised debate on Monday night.

Polls show independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen have a clear lead. But with almost 40 percent of voters undecided the stakes are high.

CGTN’s Kate Parkinson filed this report.

French presidential candidates trade barbs in first televised debate

The top five candidates in France’s presidential election traded barbs in their first televised debate on Monday night. Polls show independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen have a clear lead. But with almost 40 percent of voters undecided the stakes are high. CGTN’s Kate Parkinson filed this report.

After months of scandal, corruption allegations and infighting, voters in France were finally able to assess the different policy positions of the five leading candidates and find out what kind of president they would be.

The candidates debated the economy, healthcare, taxes, migration and Islam.