BORDEAUX, France Former prime minister Alain Juppe said on Monday he would not run in France's presidential election and harshly criticised his party's beleagured candidate, Francois Fillon.
Juppe, who came second to Fillon in the party's primaries in November, had been touted as a potential replacement for Fillon, engulfed by a financial scandal.
"I confirm once and for all that I will not be candidate to the presidency of the Republic," Juppe said in his hometown of Bordeaux, adding that it was because it had become harder than ever to unite his conservative The Republicans party and because voters wanted fresh faces.
"What a waste!," Juppe said of the Fillon campaign, hit by allegations that Fillon misued public funds.
(Reporting by Claude Canellas and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Brian Love)