Francois Fillon’s vow that he won’t quit the French presidential race will be tested Monday as party chieftains gather to consider his fate amid a persistent corruption scandal.
The leadership of the center-right Republican party is to meet to discuss Fillon’s future after potential charges of embezzlement against him undermined his campaign and caused dozens of his top supporters to withdraw their backing. Fillon said Sunday night that he was staying in the race, after widespread speculation that he would pull out.
“No one can prevent me from being a candidate,” he said on France 2 television. “Any change so close to the election is necessarily doomed to fail.” In a rally attended by tens of thousands of party faithful, Fillon emphasized that, as the winner of November’s primary, he was the legitimate candidate.
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