Marine Le Pen Set To Win First Round Of French Election As Scandal-hit Francois Fillon Drops In Polls
- Francois Fillon drops in polls after “fake jobs” scandal.
- Fillon’s lawyers denounce prosecutor’s inquirey into illegal use of public funds.
- Penelope Fillon has been said to have received £850,000 for work she did not properly carry out.
- Fillon has apologized for hiring his wife and claims her work was crucial to his political career.
- The Fillion’s have been questioned by french authorities.
As the upcoming French Presidential election nears, Marine Le Pen finds herself leading the first round polls. Francois Fillon’s “fake jobs” scandal has taken a toll on Fillon’s polling numbers. Marine Le Pen, the president of France’s National Front party, is favored to beat out Fillon.
French presidential candidate Francois Fillon struck back on Thursday over the scandal sapping his campaign, calling for fraud investigators to drop their inquiry into the “fake jobs” affair.
Lawyers for Fillon, once a frontrunner to win the election in May but now a third-placed loser according to opinion polls, publicly denounced the financial prosecutor’s inquiry into misuse of public funds as illegal and questioned the impartiality of its investigators.
The scandal involves mainly his wife, Penelope, who a satirical weekly said received almost a million euros £850,000) for work as a parliamentary assistant and literary reviewer – work, it said, she did not properly carry out.
The conservative former prime minister denies this and says his wife carried out work that was indispensable to his career as a politician, though he has apologised for employing a family member, something which is legal in France.
But the charge continues to dog his campaign and opinion polls in the past 24 hours have shown his poor ratings persisting, despite a combative news conference on Monday when he relaunched his campaign.
Both Fillon and his British-born wife have been questioned by fraud police as part of the inquiry. Two of the couple’s children, Marie and Charles, who are in their 30s and also did some work for their father, were due to be questioned on Thursday.