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Fillon caused political earthquake coming out against his party’s abstention doctrine, in case a Front National candidate faces a Socialist in the second election round;



    Fillon pro FN comment causes earthquake inside UMP

    Francois Fillon caused a political avalanche in his party when he said on TV that faced with a duel between Socialist and Front National candidate in the second round of the upcoming municipal elections he would vote for the least sectarian. As this might not necessarily be the Socialist candidate, the understanding is that he would be ready to vote for an FN candidate, and a huge wave of criticism from his party ensued, as recorded by Le Monde. With these remarks Fillon is breaking with his party’s ‘ni-ni’ doctrine, installed by Jacques Chirac, to abstain if the choice is between a FN and a Socialist candidate in the second round. While Francois Copé tries to hold the reigns together, Yves Clarisse at Reuters warns that this incident could well lead to a break-up of the UMP into different factions. According to one Ifop study for Atlantico, 49% of the UMP supporters wish an accord with the FN ahead of municipal elections next March. The strongest reactions to Fillon’s  came  from Alain Juppé, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Xavier Bertrand, Luc Chatel and Bruno Le Maire

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