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Fillon fights back in Paris presidential rally

Sunday, March 05, 2017 - 01:28

French conservative presidential hopeful Francois Fillon gives defiant speech in front of thousands of supporters but makes no promises to stay as he fights for electoral survival. Jacob Greaves reports.

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A rally in central Paris, to inject life into an embattled campaign Pundits saying its make or break for Francois Fillon's bid for the French Presidency. The scandal plagued politician taking to the podium Sunday. An attempt to show he's still in it. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH CONSERVATIVE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, FRANCOIS FILLON, SAYING: "It's my fault the project I carry, in which I believe in which you believe in, is running into such formidable obstacles. I made the first mistake, I've told you, by asking my wife to work for me because she knew the grounds, because it was practical, I should not have done it. And I made the second mistake by hesitating on the way in which to speak about it, to speak to you about it, to speak to the French people about it." But just before this stage managed show of force, a fellow conservative went off script. Christian Estrosi telling French TV a number of party heavyweights will call for him to be replaced. Once the frontrunner, Fillon is mired in a scandal over his wife's pay. His campaign in trouble since news he may be formally investigated. Party leaders are set to meet Monday for crisis talks. This an attempt by Fillon to show them he can still pull in a crowd But the thousands in attendance might not be enough. Conservatives must think about Marine Le Pen to their right. And an emboldened Emmanuel Macron on their left. The real test of his popularity will likely come behind closed doors, amongst party elites.

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Fillon fights back in Paris presidential rally

Sunday, March 05, 2017 - 01:28