hollande fillon lacks ‘dignity’ after smear charge
Last Updated : GMT 09:07:40
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Egypt Today, egypt today
Last Updated : GMT 09:07:40
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Hollande: Fillon lacks ‘dignity’ after smear charge

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Egypt Today, egypt today Hollande: Fillon lacks ‘dignity’ after smear charge

French President Francois Hollande talks with Francois Fillon
Paris/Mooscow - Arab Today

French President Francois Hollande said on Friday rightwing presidential candidate Francois Fillon had exceeded the bounds of “dignity and responsibility” by accusing him of being behind a smear campaign.
“I don’t want to enter the electoral debate... but there is a dignity, a responsibility to respect,” Hollande, a Socialist, told French radio a month ahead of the presidential election. “Fillon is beyond that now.”
Fillon late Thursday accused Hollande of orchestrating media leaks that have dented his image as a scandal-free leader.
“It’s been two months that the press had been flinging mud at me,” he told France 2 in a prime-time television interview.
He said that Hollande — who decided in December not to run for re-election — headed a “secret Cabinet” that was responsible for explosive revelations, notably about hiring his wife for allegedly fake jobs on the public payroll.
“Listen, there is a Cabinet, thankfully, that works,” Hollande said. “You know my position, it has always been for the independence of the judiciary, respect for the presumption of innocence and never to interfere.”
An investigation into the fake jobs scandal that first emerged in the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine in January has led to Fillon being charged this month with misuse of public funds.
Though an MP employing a family member is not illegal in France, Fillon’s wife Penelope is accused of doing little for the €680,000 ($725,000) she received in salary.
Fillon was the frontrunner in the election before the scandal broke, and now is not expected to get past the first round on April 23.
Le Pen meets Putin
Meanwhile, French far-right leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen called for a rapprochement with Russia in the fight against terrorism during a meeting with Russian lawmakers in Moscow on Friday.
“I am in favor of developing relations with Russia in the context of the long history that links our two countries,” Le Pen said at the start of her meeting with Russia’s parliamentary speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.
“I’ve pleaded at every level for cooperation between our countries in the fight against terrorism,” she said, invoking Russia’s role in Syria, where it has supported the regime of Bashar Assad, and France’s role fighting extremists in Africa’s Sahel region.
Le Pen did not have any planned meetings with Kremlin representatives or government officials during her Moscow visit.
The far-right leader has visited Moscow on several occasions, enjoying positive Russian state media coverage.
She is among the European politicians who have called for closer ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin and approved of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
In 2014, the Front National received a €9-million ($9.7 million) loan from a Russian commercial bank that later collapsed.
The party on Friday dismissed the possibility of seeking further funding from a Russian bank.
Moscow has been accused of seeking to promote anti-EU candidates, including populists, in elections taking place in the European countries.
Last year, the Kremlin welcomed both the outcome of Britain’s referendum on Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as US president.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday said Le Pen was not a “populist” but a “realist or anti-globalist” figure.

Source: Arab News

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hollande fillon lacks ‘dignity’ after smear charge hollande fillon lacks ‘dignity’ after smear charge



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