Juppe Will Not Replace Fillon

Juppe Will Not Replace FillonJuppe Will Not Replace Fillon

Former French premier, Alain Juppe, told reporters on Monday that he will not enter the presidential race, even as a fake jobs scandal threatens the election hopes of fellow Les Republicains member Francois Fillon. Juppe lost to Fillon in a November primary.

“I confirm once and for all that I will not be candidate to the presidency of the republic,” Juppe told reporters at a press conference in his hometown of Bordeaux, citing the increasing difficulties to try to unite his fractured party, France24 reported.

He claimed he is no longer in a position to rally enough support behind him in time for the April-May elections, despite numerous calls for a presidential run from rightwing supporters.

“Last week I received many calls asking me to take the helm. They made me hesitate, I thought about it. Today uniting everyone has become even more difficult,” the 71 year-old said. “For me, it is too late but it is not too late for France.”

The announcement comes amid a deepening crisis crippling France’s conservatives, in which Fillon has faced increasing calls to step aside, as his candidacy threatens to be derailed by an expenses scandal.

Fillon is accused of arranging for his wife and children to be paid hundreds of thousands of euros for parliamentary jobs they may never have performed.

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