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Published On: Thu, May 4th, 2017

France probes Macron-Le Pen ‘fake news’ claims

Araweelo News Network

French presidential candidate for the Front National (FN) party Marine Le Pen (L) and the En Marche! movement hopeful Emmanuel Macron pose prior to the start of a live broadcast on May 3, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Paris(ANN)-French officials have opened a judicial investigation after presidential contender Emmanuel Macron accused his rival Marine Le Pen of disseminating fake news to damage his image.

The prosecutor’s office opened the investigation after Macron lodged a legal complaint against Le Pen for allegedly circulating fake reports with the aim of influencing the votes in the presidential runoff.

In a skirmish during a televised debate on Wednesday night, Le Pen accused Macron of holding an offshore account, allegedly “linked to Russian interests”.

Macron, who says Le Pen is a liar and denies having any such account, decided to take legal action against “false information and lies”.

“Emmanuel Macron is the target of a carefully orchestrated attempt to destabilize him 48 hours before the end of the campaign,” Macron’s spokesman Sylvain Fort said in a statement.

Le Pen, who leads the National Front, represents the ideology of the far right. She is anti-European Union, anti-NATO and anti-immigrant, whose views are regarded as racist and xenophobic.

Macron is an independent centrist who leads the En Marche! Movement. He is pro-EU and represents a continuity of the same policies of the current government – the favorite of outgoing Socialist president Francois Hollande.

He is also the candidate of choice of German Chancellor Angela Merkel who has voiced her support by saying the Hollande administration’s former economy minister would make a “strong” leader for France.

Merkel and Hollande are both eager to fill in the leadership vacuum caused by the Brexit by assuming a joint leadership role of the bloc by Germany and France.

Le Pen, however, claims Macon will be led by Merkel and lacks an independent strategy.

Former US President Barack Obama has also voiced his support for Macron. In a video message on Wednesday, Obama praised Macron for underscoring “hope” in his campaign.

Macron “is committed to a better future for the French people. He appeals to people’s hopes and not their fears,” the former president said.

This combination of file pictures shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

Meantime, polls indicate that Macron will likely be going to the Elysee palace as the winner of the presidential race. An Ifop-Fiducial poll released Wednesday put Macron 20 percentage points ahead of Le Pen.

Some 63 percent of people surveyed by Elabe pollsters for BFM TV said Macron was more convincing than Le Pen in the debate on Wednesday.

Official campaigning is required by law to end at midnight on Friday before voters go to the polls on Sunday.

About the Author

- #Arraale Mohamoud Jama is a freelance and investigative journalist, writer and human rights activist with more than 20 years of experience. He writes about a range of topics related to social issues such as human rights, politics and security. Other topics in which Mr. Arraale is interested include democracy and good governance. Mr. Arraale has written extensively on regional and international events, and has worked with Somaliland newspapers and Human rights organizations. In 2008, he established #Araweelo #News #website# Network, which he currently manages. For further information, please contact: Info@araweelonews.com or jaamac132@gmail.com Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 whatsapp.com/ + 252 63 442 5380 /https://twitter.com/Araweelonews/https://www.facebook.com/Araweelonews/

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