Former US President Barack Obama formally endorsed En Marche! chairman and former Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron candidacy Thursday in the upcoming French presidential runoff vote, set for this coming Sunday.

In a video statement released Thursday afternoon, Obama called the French election an important event not only for France, but also the shared “values we care so much about, because the success of France matters to the entire world.”

“I have admired the campaign that Emmanuel Macron has run. He has stood up for liberal values. He put forward a vision for the important role that France plays in Europe and around the world.”

A former member of the Socialist Party, Macron served in incumbent President Francois Hollande’s government until August 2016. Despite his ties to the French left, Macron has marketed the En Marche! party as centrist, combining progressive-left views on social issues and a more moderate economic policy than the current socialist government.

Unlike his opponent, Marine Le Pen, who favors reducing immigration into France and terminating French membership in the European Union, Macron has called for France to take an even greater role in leading the central European body and dismissed calls for tightening French immigration policies.

Obama had in the past expressed support Macron, but until Thursday had fallen short of endorsing his candidacy.

President Trump, on the other hand, praised Le Pen last month, saying ahead of France’s first round of voting that Le Pen was the candidate “strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France.”

Polling ahead of Sunday’s vote shows Macron leading by a wide margin, with an average lead of roughly 20 points, 60% to Le Pen’s 40%. A fifth of French voters, however, say they are still undecided.

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