French conservative presidential hopefuls line up for TV debate

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The seven rivals in the race to become the presidential candidate for the mainstream right-wing opposition party Les Républicains in elections next April take to the stage Thursday for their first live TV debate, with opinion surveys indicating that former president Nicolas Sarkozy lags behind veteran Gaullist Alain Juppé.

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The French press has all but written off France’s right-wing presidential primary as a duel between Alain Juppé and Nicolas Sarkozy, and now the five other candidates in the race hope to use a televised debate on Thursday evening to change that impression, reports FRANCE 24.