via Associated Press
POLITICS – “With you”, and a little longer than the others. Emmanuel Macron joins the show with seven other candidates in the presidential election France in the face of war this Monday March 14 on TF1.
Marine Le Pen, Valérie Pécresse, Éric Zemmour, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Yannick Jadot, Anne Hidalgo, Fabien Roussel and the outgoing president… will all be reunited for the first time on the same set, to answer the same questions, on the same theme . With one difference: the head of state can benefit from more speaking time than the others. And this under the rule of “equity”.
The channel reported this in the newspaper on Sunday from 8 p.m. “It depends on the number of elected officials, political groups in Parliament, polls, campaign dynamics and the results of previous elections,” explains Anne Grand d’Esnon, member of the Regulatory Body for Audiovisual and Digital Communications (Arcom). subject of the front page.
No debate, monologues
On its website, the CSA, the ancestor of Arcom, also mentions “the ability to concretely demonstrate” the involvement of candidates in the campaign between “organizing public meetings, participating in debates”, “appointing a financial agent” or “any initiative to bring the elements of the candidate’s program to the attention of the public”.
In summary, when Yannick Jadot, the leader of environmentalists – gets about 5-6% in the polls – is given the opportunity to argue for 15 minutes, Emmanuel Macron will benefit from more than double with a large half hour of speech, to use the example from TF1.
This rule, equity, applies until the day before the start of the official campaign, ie March 27. After that, the different media will have to respect the stricter principle of equal speaking time. “It means that the speaking and broadcasting time of the candidates and their supporters are equal,” the CSA writes on its site.
This is not the only specificity of TF1’s presidential evening. Since the President of the Republic does not want to debate directly with his opponents, the various contenders for the Élysée will follow each other on set, without ever crossing each other. They will first make their “creeds” and then answer questions from Anne-Claire Coudray and Gilles Bouleau. And can then come back in a shorter time for a “right of reply”.
Macron’s opponents unhappy
In this context, all of Emmanuel Macron’s opponents agree to denounce his choice and deplore a “false debate”. The head of state, who is also highly mobilized as EU President-in-Office, justifies his refusal by the fact that the other outgoing presidents running for a second term in office no longer lent themselves to the exercise.
“Ah, if he could do without the election, he could do without it”, was outraged Xavier Bertrand, adviser to Valérie Pécresse, at this stage neck and neck in the polls with Éric Zemmour and Jean-Luc Mélenchon for third place. “In a democracy there has to be a confrontation of ideas so that the French can make a decision. There will be no referendum ‘for or against the war’ on April 10 and 24,” he added on France 2, when his candidate estimated a little later that “the Ukrainian crisis cannot deprive the French of democratic debate to do what they deserve.” finished.”
Same observation on the left. “This roster of candidates actually prevents us from having a moment of meaningful exchanges with the current president. I believe that in a democracy we would not suffer from too much discussion,” noted Alexis Corbière, lieutenant of the leader of the insurgents.
Finally, the show, already controversial in its format, will take place without the far-left candidates Nathalie Arthaud (LO) and Philippe Poutou (NPA), the sovereign Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (DLF) or even Jean Lassalle. Expelled from the program, the latter is strangled by being treated as a “damned and useless candidate”. They are only entitled to an exhibition in future TF1 news on set or in reports.
See also on The HuffPost: By refusing to debate with the candidates, these moments Macron is trying to avoid