France 2 has stepped back from organising a debate with the 11 candidates. It was supposed to take place on the 20th of April, which will be 3 days before the first round. The channel has suggested to do 15 minutes individual interviews instead. A draw would select the candidates’ order.
When the debate was announced, Jean-Luc Mélenchon said he would not take part in the debate, explaining he doesn’t want to jeopardize his campaign “48 hours before the elections” and he has his own agenda already. Emmanuel Macron said that he didn’t want a “last minute debate”.
Benoît Hamon reacted to France 2’s decision earlier today, saying that “the public broadcasting service has given in to pressure” and “democracy is only when it suits (these candidates)”.
The candidates have to give an answer by the end of this week and the public channel said they would maintain the show only if the 11 candidates agree to take part in it.