Published: Wed, February 15, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Russian media attack French presidential frontrunner

Russian media attack French presidential frontrunner

The Kremlin has also denied allegations by US intelligence agencies that Russian Federation used cyberattacks and other methods to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

Ferrand's comments came against the backdrop of an electoral campaign of smears in which several big names have fallen off the radar, while conservative candidate Fillon went from frontrunner to also-ran due to a scandal involving his family.

Le Pen, who has run on an anti-immigrant platform, has also pledged to remove France from the European Union if she wins and will revoke dual citizenship for French nationals.

The report appeared to play a part in Macron being forced on February 7 to kill rumors of an extra-marital gay relationship.

Ferrand said on Monday that the French centrist politician, who is now seen by opinion polls as the favourite to win election in May, had become a "fake news" target of Russian media and that his campaign was facing thousands of internet attacks.

Mr Macron is a staunch pro-European and it is widely thought he is likely to have been targeted because he wants a strong Europe that could stand up to Moscow, .

Under her plan, regal powers would remain in French control while autonomy provisions would give French Polynesia more of a say in economic matters.

"Today, we have to look at the facts: two major media platforms Russia Today and Sputnik, that belong to the Russian state, broadcast false news daily".

Moscow vehemently denied the French allegations.

Fillon has been dogged by revelations that his Welsh-born wife Penelope was paid for years for a suspected fake job as a parliamentary aide.

Writing in Le Monde Tuesday, Ferrand said En Marche!'s website has been "the subject of several thousand monthly attacks in various forms".

"That there is a hysterical anti-(President Vladimir) Putin campaign in certain countries overseas is an obvious fact".

Jean-Yves Le Drian, France's defense minister, said last week French intelligence agencies were attempting to fortify cybersecurity surrounding the election. The first round of the French presidential election is scheduled for April 23.

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