Update: Alain Juppe concedes making Francois Fillon Les Republicans’ presidential candidate against Marine Le Pen in next year’s presidential election.
#BREAKING Alain Juppe concedes defeat in French presidential primary
— AFP news agency (@AFP) November 27, 2016
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As previewed this morning, in Sunday’s biggest political highlight – the runoff round in the French Republican primary – moments ago the results have started trickling in and it is shaping up as a monumental victory for Francois Fillon, who served as French prime minister from 2007-2012, and who according to the provisional count has roughly 69% of the primary vote, in a move that may once again prove beneficial for Marine Le Pen as the more moderate, and former favorite, Alain Juppe is now almost certainly eliminated.
The vote’s outcome means that it will be up to Fillon to prevent the collapse of the French establishment, as it will be up to him to prevent Le Pen from winning in next May’s presidential election. It remains to be seen how successful he is in unifying the anti-protest vote.
As a reminder, the 62-year-old racing car enthusiast who lives in a Loire valley chateau…
… Fillon promises radical reforms to France’s regulation-encumbered economy, vowing to roll back the state and slash government’s bloated costs.
Some policy highlights:
In a curious twist, as explained earlier, the now virtually assured win for Fillon could give the highly unpopular current president Francois Hollande a potential “in” to attempt another run at the presidency himself, giving him a target to attack and could convince him to make a bid for a second five-year mandate against the odds. His Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, is also gearing up to stand. The Socialist primaries are due to take place in January.