A trip to southern France, in Nimes, is expected Thursday before a "rally of support" Sunday in Paris.
On the judicial front, the candidate of the party Republicans (LR) triumphantly designated in November at a right-wing primary, Wednesday announced its convocation on March 15, with the possible indictment, among the judges investigating the possible Fictitious jobs of several of his close relatives.
The 62-year-old conservative candidate has been at the forefront of socialist president François Hollande's presidential election since the press revealed at the end of January that he had hired his wife and children as parliamentary assistants on suspicion of not having Provided real work.
A fantastic day
On the political level, the right wing shook at the end of a fantastic day: elected representatives and members of the campaign team learning amazed, at the Salon de l'Agriculture in Paris, postponing the visit of their candidate; Loneliness of LR executives caught short live on the antennae; Suspension in the afternoon of the "support" of the center-right party UDI ...
Defections also began within his own party. Former Minister Bruno Le Maire opened the ball, followed by several MPs.
Mr. Fillon spoke Wednesday morning on the phone with former Prime Minister Alain Juppé and with former President Nicolas Sarkozy (2007-2012), both beaten in the primaries.
A right-wing deputy even plans to ask the Constitutional Council to postpone the election: Mr. Fillon will be confronted with the judges on 15 March, two days before the deadline for the 500 sponsorships required for candidates, which he has already.
In the meantime, the former prime minister may have to justify himself once again to maintain his candidacy after having promised on January 26 on TV channel TF1 to withdraw in case of "indictment" (indictment).
According to a survey made after his statement and published on Thursday, only one in four Frenchmen (25%) wants Mr. Fillon to continue the fight, a sharp drop compared to early February. Above all, he loses a lot of ground among LR sympathizers, who are only 53% (-14) wanting him to stay.
M. Fillon had already infiltrated his line by announcing in mid-February to rely on "universal suffrage." A position hammered Wednesday, facing the "political assassination" of which he claims a victim, an idea with which 38% of the French agree.
- Do not 'give up a race' -
"By this disproportionate outburst, unprecedented known, by the choice of a calendar, it is not only me that we assassinate, it is the presidential election," he still denounced, attracting The wrath of its competitors and associations of magistrates also struggling with the far-right party National Front in this campaign.
It will "stand" on its decision to go to the end because "abandon a race, for a driver, it is not natural," said this passionate racing car in an interview Thursday to a regional daily.
After having finally walked on Wednesday afternoon the alleys of the Salon of Agriculture, Mr. Fillon continues Thursday his campaign in the Gard, department of the south where the FN collected 42.62% of the votes in the second round of the regional elections in 2015.
The supporters of the candidate, although sounded for some, are organized. His special advisor Jérôme Chartier announced a support rally on Sunday afternoon at Place du Trocadéro in Paris, in the chic 16th arrondissement, the same place where Nicolas Sarkozy had held a meeting between two rounds before his defeat Against the socialist François Hollande in 2012.
This legal drama benefits its main rivals, the right-wing Patron of Marine Le Pen and the former Minister of Economy of Mr. Holland, Emmanuel Macron, repositioned in the center. Both now appear as the best placed for the second round, on May 7, according to the latest polls.