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PARIS (Reuters) - An emergency meeting of the French conservative party's leadership unanimously backed Francois Fillon as candidate for the presidential election, Senate leader Gerard Larcher said, despite a scandal over alleged misuse of public funds.
The leader of the conservative The Republicans' party, Bernard Accoyer, confirmed the deal, saying the party had reunited and was re-launching Fillon's campaign.
Former French prime minister Alain Juppe had earlier on Monday ruled out replacing scandal-hit Fillon in the coming presidential election but offered no alternative candidates.
Reporting by Sophie Louet; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Adrian Croft