Laurent Wauquiez, 42, is a relentless critic of President Macron, dismissing him as out of touch with rural France and weak on security.
A breakaway group of MPs from the French conservative party Les Républicains have announced they are launching a new party, positioning themselves as centre-right, pro-European and humanist, in opposition to the forecasted iminent election of hard-right Laurent Wauquiez as the new Républicains leader.
Party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy and defeated presidential candidate François Fillon has debts of nearly £50 million.
The conservative said he would not play a senior role for his party in June's Parliamentary elections but would be a 'simple party activist again'.
Lawyer Robert Bourgi, 72, is a veteran figure of “la Françafrique”, the once-rife secret and corrupt network of relations between successive French and despotic African governments, which included the illegal funding of French politicians and parties in return for favours and protection. His name resurfaced last month in the scandal-hit presidential election campaign of conservative candidate François Fillon, when Bourgi revealed it was he who offered Fillon two expensive tailor-made suits, raising further questions over Fillon’s probity and political independence. In this interview from Beirut, where he is sitting out the rest of the election campaign, Bourgi gave Mediapart his version of his relationship with Fillon, who he says asked him to deny being a benefactor, and lifts the lid on the murky practices in French politics. His account offers an insight into decades of political corruption.
The judicial investigation into suspected misappropriation of public funds by conservative presidential candidate François Fillon has been widened to include suspected forgery, while new press revelations allege he was paid 50,000 dollars in 2015 to introduce a Lebanese businessman to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Leader of right-wing Les Républicains party Bernard Accoyer said the party had reunited and was re-launching Fillon's scandal-hit campaign.
Like many of leading French politicians, François Fillon has his own 'micro' party which is used to develop policy ideas and raise funds. But Mediapart can reveal that the micro party run by Fillon, whose candidacy for the French presidency has been rocked by the so-called “fake jobs” scandal involving his wife Penelope, is discreetly banking donations from members of the public supporting his official electoral campaign. “It's madness!” says one senior figure on the Right. Mathilde Mathieu reports.
Race to be Right's candidate for president now between two ex-prime ministers who both want big public sector cuts and business incentives.
Former French prime minister François Fillon, previously trailing in the conservative opposition party's primaries to elect it candidate for presidential elections next spring, has suddenly taken a neck-and-neck position against his two main rivals, Nicolas Sarkozy and Alain Juppé, before voting begins on Sunday.
The main conservative opposition party's primaries to choose its candidate for the 2017 presidential elections, which begin Sunday evening amid more than usual interest because of the liklihood that the person chosen will reach the decisive second round next spring, is now a tight three-horse race.
Poll puts former PM Alain Juppé on 41 percent of votes in first round of Right's primary on November 20, while Sarkozy slips to 30 percent.
An opinion survey following Thursday's live TV debate between the seven rivals to become France's conservative opposition party's candidate in next year's presidential elections gave former prime minister Alain Juppé a significant lead over second-placed Nicolas Sarkozy.
The seven rivals in the race to become the presidential candidate for the mainstream right-wing opposition party Les Républicains in elections next April take to the stage Thursday for their first live TV debate, with opinion surveys indicating that former president Nicolas Sarkozy lags behind veteran Gaullist Alain Juppé.