‘VI­O­LENT FROM

Macron and Le Pen ex­change in­sults dur­ing and af­ter vi­cious TV de­bate

New Straits Times - - World -

PARIS

JAMES COMEY, Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion di­rec­tor the econ­omy and Europe in Wed­nes­day’s hot-tem­pered de­bate watched by 16.5 mil­lion peo­ple.

Le Pen branded the 39-yearold for­mer econ­omy min­is­ter and in­vest­ment banker “the can­di­date of the elite”, while he called her “the high priest­ess of fear”.

Af­ter the bruising con­test, a snap poll by French broad­caster BFMTV found that 63 per cent of view­ers thought Macron was the “most con­vinc­ing” of the two, broadly mir­ror­ing fore­casts for the de­ci­sive elec­tion on Sun­day.

For­mer United States pres­i­dent Barack Obama threw his sup­port be­hind the pro-EU Macron, of­fer­ing fresh back­ing for the can­di­date.

Obama said that Macron had stood up for “lib­eral val­ues” and

AP PIC

Marine Le Pen (left) and Em­manuel Macron (right) get pre­pared by tech­ni­cians and make-up artists prior to the tele­vised de­bate in La Plaine-Saint-De­nis, north of Paris, on Wed­nes­day.

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