In France, Francois Fillion chosen as Republican Party candidate

CCTV News

In France, Francois Fillion chosen as Republican Party candidate

Conservative voters in France have chosen former Prime Minister Francois Fillon as the Republican Party candidate. He beat rival Alain Juppe for the nomination and will go on to compete for the presidency next April.

CCTV’s Kate Parkinson reports.
Follow Kate Parkinson on Twitter @KTP_news

In France, Francois Fillion chosen as Republican Party candidate

In France, Francois Fillion chosen as Republican Party candidate

Conservative voters in France have chosen former Prime Minister Francois Fillon as the Republican Party candidate. He beat rival Alain Juppe for the nomination and will go on to compete for the presidency next April. CCTV’s Kate Parkinson reports.

Fillon is a social conservative with economically liberal ideas who said he will end the 35-hour working week rule and slash public spending.

He’s also pledged to reduce immigration and exert “strict administrative control” over Islam.

“I often hear that the rules of secularism must be hardened but my friend why impose new demands on Catholicism, Protestantism and Judaism who have lived in peace with the Republic for decades when only fundamental Islam threatens our society,” Fillon said.

Current French president Francois Hollande will announce whether he will seek a second mandate in December.

But with an approval rating of just 4% his chance of re-election is seen as extremely low.

Polls show he would be eliminated in the first round of voting.

The Socialists will hold primary elections in January to choose their candidate.

Hollande’s chief rivals in that race could include his own prime minister, Manual Valls. His former economy minister Arnaud Montebourg is also a candidate.

Further complicating the Socialists narrow-path to re-election Emmanuel Macron, another of Holland’s former economy ministers, has quit the government and is running as an independent candidate.

With the left in disarray, Fillon’s main opponent in next spring’s presidential election will be far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Her anti-immigration and anti-EU National Front party has made big inroads against the mainstream parties on both sides of the political spectrum as France struggles with high unemployment and low economic growth.

The Paris massacre and other militant attacks have also fueled support for Le Pen who is riding high in the polls.

But opinion polls suggest that the majority of people are against seeing the far-right in power. Which means it currently looks like Fillon has the best chance of becoming France’s next president. Although much could change between now and next May.


Dominic Thomas on the France’s Presidential election

To discuss the state of the elections in France, CCTV America’s Michelle Makori spoke with Dominic Thomas, chair of French Studies at UCLA.