French Right reeling over secret loan and Sarkozy election campaign fraud

The head of the parliamentary group of France’s main opposition party, the conservative UMP, faces a stormy meeting with his MP colleagues on Tuesday after Mediapart’s revelations that, without informing them, he secretly lent their cash-strapped party 3 million euros from what are largely public funds destined for financing the group’s parliamentary activities.  The scandal has outraged many within the UMP, and follows Mediapart’s earlier revelations that the party used faked invoices to hide 17 million euros of illegal overspending on the 2012 presidential election campaign of its candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy. Fabrice Arfi, Mathilde Mathieu and Ellen Salvi report.

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Following the rout suffered by France’s conservative UMP party in presidential and legislative elections in 2012, the head of its parliamentary group, lent the party 3 million euros from what are mostly public funds in fact allocated for the financing of the group’s functions and activities in parliament, Mediapart can reveal.