Fillon's election campaign suffers another blow as top aides resign

Despite mounting pressure after corruption allegations, France's conservative presidential candidate is refusing to withdraw from the election. His campaign chief and chief spokesperson also quit on Friday.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

French presidential election candidate for the right-wing Les Republicains (LR) party Francois Fillon visits a farm near Nimes, southern France on March 3, 2017.

French conservative Francois Fillon's campaign has suffered another blow, following a string of resignations among some of his top aides. Both his campaign chief and his chief spokesperson quit on Friday.

Despite mounting pressure after corruption allegations, Fillon is refusing to withdraw from the election. His supporters are planning a rally near the Eiffel Tower on Sunday, and Fillon himself tweeted a video plea for people to show up to support him.

Fillion is facing an investigation over public funds paid to his wife and children for work they allegedly didn't do.

TRT World’s Nafisa Latic has this report.

Meanwhile, an apparent threat by far-right leader Marine le Pen to punish state employees who "persecute" political opponents may have eroded her support, according to a poll which found her first-round lead in France's presidential election slipping.


French presidential election candidate for the far-right Front National (FN) party Marine Le Pen poses next to Le Vaudoue's mayor Pierre Bacque after he withdrew his sponsorship commitment to Francois Fillon to gave it to her, on March 3, 2017 in Le Vaudoue. (AFP)

The poll of voting intentions by research firm BVA found Le Pen garnering 26 percent of the votes in April's first round, down 1.5 percent from the last BVA poll on February 23.

It found independent centrist Emmanuel Macron gaining momentum, rising three points to 24 percent.

Conservative rival Francois Fillon remained at 19 percent and would therefore be eliminated from a second-round runoff to be held in May, in which Macron was seen defeating Le Pen by 62 percent to her 38.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies