Podcast: Macron vs Le Pen, Mélenchon supporters protest, France's first elected woman

The two presidential candidates faced off in a three-hour debate Wednesday in which they tried to convince undecided voters. Did it work? Leftist Mélenchon voters on what to do in the second round. And the first woman elected to office in France in 1925.

In the last leg of France's 2022 presidential election, incumbant Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen finally faced off in a debate, aimed at getting undecided voters on side in Sunday's second round runoff. Le Pen tried to show she was in touch with the people and their problems, and the leader of a rehabilitated far right ready and able to govern. Macron, often criticised for being lofty and arrogant, aimed to highlight fundamental differences between him and his rival, notably on Europe and the Muslim veil, and show that the choice of president will have a major impact on France. Did it convince anyone? (Listen @0')

As well as the two candidates, a third important figure in this election remains the leader of the hard-left France Unbowed party, Jean-Luc Mélenchon. After winning 22 percent of the vote in the first round, the question of where those votes go in the runoff has led to him being called a kingmaker. He called for voters to block Le Pen, but stopped short of endorsing Macron, and his party voted overwhelmingly to abstain or cast blank ballots. Who are these voters, and what is driving their decisions? (Listen @11'15'')

Follow RFI's coverage of the 2022 presidential election here.

If Marine Le Pen wins, she would become France's first female president, nearly a hundred years after the first woman was elected to any office. On 3 May 1925, Joséphine Pencalet was elected to the city council in the Brittany town of Douarnenez. But because women were not yet allowed to vote, her time in office was short-lived. (Listen @8'30'')

This episode was mixed by Cecile Pompeani.

Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on rfienglish.com, iTunes (link here), Spotify (link here), Google podcasts (link here), or your favourite podcast app (pod.link/1573769878).
21 Apr 2022 English France News

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