Former US president Barack Obama has endorsed Emmanuel Macron for France’s presidential election this Sunday, saying that the centrist independent candidate “appeals to people’s hopes and not their fears”.

In a video message released by the Macron campaign on Thursday, Mr Obama said that the French election “matters to the entire world” and that he wanted to support a candidate with liberal values.

“I’m not planning to get involved in many elections now that I don’t have to run for office, but the French election is very important to the future of France and the values that we care so much about,” said Mr Obama.

The polls show Mr Macron beating his rival, the far-right leader Marine Le Pen, by a comfortable 20-point margin on Sunday.

Ms Le Pen is running on an anti-immigration and anti-globalisation platform and wants to take France out of the European Union. Mr Macron has a pro-European stance and has campaigned on the benefits of free trade and globalisation to the French people.

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