Emmanuel Macron talks about media and internet attacks possibly backed by Russia
Emmanuel Macron has blamed Russia for media and internet attack on his presidential campaign but Russia has denied the charges. Macron’s team has blamed Russian media for running smear campaign against him. Also, Team Macron has talked about role of hacking groups operating in Ukraine behind attack on his campaign. The charges levelled by Macron’s team have been denied by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Mr. Peskov termed the charges as absurd.
Earlier, European leaders have expressed concerns over Russian influence over upcoming elections in some countries in Europe. Russia has been blamed for pushing ahead with fake news campaign to favor certain candidates in European elections.
Mr. Peskov said, “We didn't have and do not have any intention of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, or in their electoral processes in particular. That there is a hysterical anti-President Vladimir Putin campaign in certain countries abroad is an obvious fact.”
Macron's party chief, Richard Ferrand claimed that Macron has become target of fake news campaign as he has been termed as frontrunner in French elections. Political experts suggest that Macron could rank second during the first round of French presidential elections, lagging behind far-right leader Marine Le Pen. However, in the second round, he could get support from nearly 65 percent French voters. However, no one can say for sure what could be final choice of French voters and how the conditions could change in coming months. Ferrand has also blamed Sputnik News and Russia Today for spreading fake news. Russia Today has recently announced expanding its operations in France.
Macron’s chances improved couple of weeks back when presidential frontrunner Francois Fillon faced a major blow to his campaign after reports of him making payments to his wife and children from public money, emerged in a local magazine. Fillon denied the charges but many French voters pulled their support for Fillon’s campaign.
Macron’s team is worried about fake news campaign or some other attacks on his campaign. Such attacks have strong potential to derail a smoothly running election campaign. Macron is supporting stronger French ties with European Union while Le Pen has said that she would consider French exit from the Union.
"We are in the presence of an orchestrated attempt by a foreign power to destabilise a presidential election candidate," Ferrand said.
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