Live on France 24 in English and Arabic, tonight at 9pm, Paris time

With 35 days to go before the first round of the French presidential elections, five candidates will face off tonight in the first TV debate.

The campaign is being closely watched around the world and its outcome is eagerly awaited.

International news TV channel France 24 will broadcast the debate live on its English and Arabic channels at 9pm (Paris time) on Monday 20th March.

The candidates taking part will be:

François Fillon (of the opposition right Les Républicains)

Benoît Hamon (of the Socialist Party)

Marine Le Pen (of the far-right National Front)

Emmanuel Macron (of the centrist En Marche! movement)

Jean-Luc Mélenchon (of the far-left La France Insoumise coalition).

2017 French Presidential Debate

In an exclusive, France 24 will provide live coverage and simultaneous translation in English and Arabic of the debate which will be broadcast on French TV channel TF1, and moderated by journalists Anne-Claire Coudray and Gilles Bouleau.

The candidates will cross swords on three key issues:

• "Which social model for France?" – for a discussion about education, the environment, safety and immigration.

• "Which economic model for France?" – for their views on tax, weekly working hours and unemployment.

• "What is France’s place in the world?" – for their positions on the future of Europe, relations with Russia and the United States, and France’s role in the fight against international terrorism.

Palais de l'Elysee by Remi Mathis (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Palais de l'Elysee by Remi Mathis (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

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