TEHRAN, May 4, YJC - 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.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -
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.
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, Presstv reported.
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.