Francois Fillon, the Republican candidate for the Presidental election lunched this Wednesday, February 15 with Nicolas Sarkozy, before going to Compiegne in the Oise to discuss security. Facing a backlash from the public and his own party since the revelations about the supposedly fictitious jobs of his wife and two of his children, the former Prime Minister needs all the help he can get.
“It went very well, it was a warm atmosphere,” said a member of his entourage at the end of this luncheon which took place at his request, and in the offices of the former President in rue de Miromesnil in Paris. The meeting comes as Francois Fillon faces a new front of opposition from his party who released an open letter demanding that he publicly explain himself. Many of those who signed supported Nicolas Sarkozy at the Republician primary.
“It is normal to meet with the former president in the context of an extremely difficult general political, economic and social situation,” said the team of Francois Fillon, mentioning that the latter also had talks Wednesday morning on the phone with his other rival at the primary, Alain Juppé.
RTL morning’s guest on Wednesday, Christian Jacob, president of the group Republicans in the Assembly and supporter of François Fillon said that the candidate of the right wanted to take advantage of the experience of Nicolas Sarkozy.
Behind the scenes, the winner of the primary has no choice but to appeal to his former rivals. “Fillon needs Sarkozy for three reasons,” an elected LR representative told AFP: the former head of state can calm the “slingers”, he still enjoys “a great popularity among LR supporters “, and he gained nearly a million votes in the first round of the primary” which Fillon can not do without. ”
It is an act of political fragility that amuses the left. “We went from ‘everything except Sarkozy’ to ‘SOS Sarkozy'”, said the deputy leader of the Socialist Party (PS), Olivier Faure.
“Such a waste”
Though Nicolas Sarkozy has not spoken publicly about the affair that shakes the candidate LR, he has not hesitated to comment in private. “It took me two years to get the family back on track, and it did not take two months to revive all the internal wars,” he explains “to his entourage, reported Le Parisien .
After the lunch, François Fillon will travel to Compiegne for a trip on the theme of security before a public meeting at 7pm, said his team. Another meeting could take place on Friday, the source said.
While the candidate has known for three weeks of regular public displays of hostility when he appears at rallies, a public meeting that had been envisaged Thursday in Limoges will not take place.
“We have abandoned the idea of moving to this geographical area because of the school holidays”, which will take place in this zone from 18 February to 5 March inclusive. “This will be done after March 4 in Clermont-Ferrand rather than in Limoges on recommendation of Brice Hortefeux,” said the entourage of candidate LR. Except that the organization of the public meeting in Clermont also raises concerns and should be postponed indefinitely . “The organizational deadlines were too short and this visit fell during school holidays,” explained Brice Hortefeux in La Montagne . An argument dismounted by the Mayor of Clermont-Ferrand.