Rabat - Only hours after campaigning officially ceased in France’s 2017 presidential election, centrist candidate, Emmanuel Macron’s campaign is crying foul over a deluge of hacked documents spilled over the internet Friday.
Rabat – Only hours after campaigning officially ceased in France’s 2017 presidential election, centrist candidate, Emmanuel Macron’s campaign is crying foul over a deluge of hacked documents spilled over the internet Friday.
Tens of thousands of internal emails and other campaign-related documents were leaked online, less than 48 hours before voters head to the polls on Sunday. The material was posted anonymously on a site called Pastebin.
The En Marche! campaign confirmed the hacking on Friday in a statement released to the press stating they were “a victim of a massive and coordinated hack this evening which has given rise to the diffusion on social media of various internal information.”
The statement describes the documents as “diverse” but all pertaining to campaign business. It is not these documents the En Marche! people are concerned over, however, saying their release “does not alarm us as to the prospect of any questions being raised about their legality.” The statement added that they “reflected the normal functioning of an election campaign.”
By contrast, the documents which are of a great deal of concern to the Macron camp are the “many false documents” the campaign claims were added to the surfeit of information leaked “… in order to sow doubt and disinformation.” According to the campaign, it was a calculated move, designed to “harm the movement.”
“Coming in the final hours of the campaign, this operation clearly amounts to democratic destabilisation as was seen in the United States,” the statement said. It made reference to being hacked weeks ago in an attack that targeted accounts belonging to En Marche! staffers.
The leak comes two days after an intensely unpleasant televised debate between the two candidates, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, during which French campaigning sunk to a new low. Shocked viewers quickly labeled the event the worst election debate in French presidential history, with Le Pen accusing Macron of having an off-shore bank account on Nevis Island. When it was over, Macron was declared the clear and undisputed winner.
Perhaps as proof of voters’ disapproval, Le Pen was confronted by a group of 50 unhappy protestors when she arrived at a campaign event in Dol-de-Bretagne, in Brittany on Thursday. Both she and her campaign bodyguards were pelted with raw eggs as they quickly steered her into the venue.
Election polls still show Macron enjoying a healthy lead going into Sunday’s vote. As of the close of official campaigning Friday, Macron lead Le Pen 60 percent to 40 percent.