François Fillon

French prosecutors open probe into Fillon wife 'fake job' report

France — Link

Public prosecutors on Wednesday announced an investigation into suspected 'misappropriation of public funds' just hours after weekly magazine Le Canard Enchaîné revealed that the wife of former PM François Fillon, now conservative candidate for the presidency, was paid 500,000 euros over eight years as his parliamentary assistant.

French presidential favourite paid wife from parliamentary funds

France — Link

Former prime minister and now conservative presidential election candidate François Fillon is under increasing pressure to prove that his British-born wife Penelope did actually complete work as a parliamentary assistant to him for which, reported weekly Le Canard Enchaîné, she was paid a total of 500,000 euros from parliamentary funds.

French presidential candidate Fillon to propose immigration quotas

France — Link

Right-wing favourite to win race for Elysée will also urge EU to tighten asylum and immigration policy to counter threat of Islamist militants.

Poll finds Macron 'most popular' French politician

France — Link

As campaigning for next year's presidential elections approaches, an opinion survey finds centrist former economy minister Emmanuel Macron is most popular of French politicians, ahead of conservative presidential candidate François Fillon.

Fall of Aleppo reveals fault lines in French politics

International — Analysis

The end of the battle for Syria's second city and the plight of its civilians have drawn different responses from across France's political spectrum. On the Right the line taken by conservative presidential candidate François Fillon has been close to that of the far-right Front National, with his defence of the Assad regime and Vladimir Putin. The ruling Socialist Party and the Greens have emphasised their support for Syria's opposition, while the radical left presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon has adopted an anti-imperialist stance, with the United States as his main target. Lénaïg Bredoux, Lucie Delaporte and Christophe Gueugneau report.

Why Fillon's win has thrown down the gauntlet to the entire French Left

France — Analysis

The crushing win in Sunday's conservative primary by former prime minister François Fillon shows that the French Right is not worried about its electoral opponents, writes Mediapart's Hubert Huertas. In choosing the most hardline candidate with the most radical austerity programme since the end of World War II, right-wing voters have delivered a message of supreme confidence. As far as they are concerned, it is as if left-wing opposition no longer exists. So how, he asks, will the French Left respond?

France's ruling socialists scramble to avoid split after Fillon win

France — Link

After PM Valls initially suggested he might quit and stand against President Hollande in party primary, he later said he would stay in his job.

François Fillon wins sweeping victory to become conservative candidate in French presidential election

France

François Fillon will be the conservative candidate in the 2017 presidential election after a crushing victory over his rival Alain Juppé in this Sunday's primary election run-off. With most of the votes declared, the former prime minister has picked up two-thirds of the vote. This emphatic win on the back of a turnout of well over four million voters will give Fillon a huge springboard for next spring's presidential elections. For months Fillon languished in the polls, far behind his former boss Nicolas Sarkozy and the pollsters' favourite Juppé, the 71-year-old mayor of Bordeaux. But in the final days before last week's first round in the primary Fillon's support suddenly surged and he won that contest with more than 44% of the vote. This Sunday's stunning victory has confirmed that surge. In his victory speech Fillon said: “If in 2017 we take things firmly in hand then our country will go far, for nothing can get in the way of a people who want to take their future in their hands.” But the 62-year-old faces tough questions ahead about his radical programme for government. These will likely focus on three main areas: his social conservatism, his economic liberalism – including his plan to axe half a million public sector posts – and his foreign policy and in particular his desire for closer relations with Russia. Nonetheless Fillon now stands a good chance of being France's next head of state, given the splits and divisions on the Left and the unlikelihood that France will ultimately vote for the far-right Front National's Marine Le Pen to be President of the Republic next May. Follow the results and reactions in this crucial primary election here.

France votes for centre-right candidate - and perhaps next president

France — Link

Opinion polls show François Fillon, a social conservative, as the clear favourite after he easily eclipsed his centrist rival Alain Juppé last week.

Fillon attacks 'Paris elite' before second-round primary vote

France — Link

Right-wing ex-PM who came from behind and is now favourite to win on Sunday dismisses ‘tiny microcosm who think they know everything'.

French Right rivals spar over multiculturalism in key TV debate

France — Link

Alain Juppé and François Fillon also clashed over labour laws in live debate, three days ahead of the conservative presidential primary run-off.

Poll puts Fillon ahead in French Right's primary election

France — Link

Poll suggests former premier François Fillon will win Sunday's second round contest with 65 percent of votes against 35 percent for Alain Juppé.

France's 'Iron Man': economic plans of François Fillon

France — Analysis

The frontrunner in the primary election to become the presidential candidate for the French Right and centre is a known admirer of Britain's late prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who was dubbed the “Iron Lady”. His economic plans include a strategic and immediate “shock” to the French system; the end of the 35-hour working week, abolition of the wealth tax, increasing the retirement age to 65 and reforming unemployment benefit and workplace rights. As Martine Orange reports ahead of Sunday's crucial second round contest, François Fillon plans to introduce these sweeping changes within the first two months if he becomes president – despite the risk that they would provoke a recession.

France's Francois Fillon under fire over women's rights

France — Link

His rival in Right's presidential primary, Alain Juppé, has urged Fillon to 'clarify his position' on abortion ahead of Sunday's decisive poll.

Fillon calls for 'transformation' after first-round win

France — Link

Ex-PM sets out plans, including cutting 500,000 public sector jobs, before runoff with Alain Juppé to be centre-right’s presidential candidate.