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François Fillon to be the next occupant of Élysée Palace?

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  • Post last modified:27/11/2016
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PARIS: Millions of French voters are casting votes today (Sunday November, 27) in order to determine the presidential candidate for (centre-right) Republicans Party. 

For these center-right presidential nominations ex-PMs (economic radical) François Fillon and (socially conservative) Alain Juppe are confronting each other. 

François Fillon, the 62-year old social conservative who terms the French economy as regulation-encumbered, is all set to decrease expenses of the government by means of rolling back the state. Pointing towards Alain Juppe he said: “My enemy is the decline of France”.

His opponent Juppe, the 71-year-old mayor of Bordeaux, believes that Fillon lacks credibility. Juppe has been criticizing proposals of Fillon cutting half a million public sector jobs in order to reduce the size of Government.

Hollande 62, who is experiencing a very low popularity due to disarray in the Left ranks, can attack Fillon’s Thatcherite economic plans.

According to opinion polls people are now getting frustrated due to double digit unemployment. Answering to this dilemma Fillon, who is a free marketeer, says he will suppress the omnipotent trade unions enforcing tough reforms that also include changing working hours per week from 35 to 39.

Fillon’s resolve to lessen participation of state in economy can also translate into rolling back of healthcare facilities.

In his rejoinder Juppe maintained: “Reform shouldn’t punish, it should provide hope”.  In a Nancy rally on Friday he added: “My reforms will not be penitence but represent a hope for improving the life of each person”.

Both have been advocating scrapping France’s wealth tax and increasing value-added tax (VAT). Juppe is also for cutting public sector jobs but half of what his opponent suggests.

It transpired in the opinion polls that people found Fillon more convincing in a tête-à-tête Thursday Nov. 24 televised debate that was watched by 8 million viewers.

The upsurge of religious militant forces followed by recurring attacks probably tilted the people’s inclination towards far-right led by Le-Pen here. This will be manifested in the next year’s presidential elections when center-right will confront the far-right. 

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