Le candidat Les Républicains à la présidentielle François Fillon a été mis en examen ce mardi 14 mars, pour "détournement de fonds publics", "complicité et recel de détournement de fonds publics", "complicité et recel d'abus de biens sociaux", "manquements aux obligations de déclarations à la haute autorité de la vie publique", ont affirmé des sources judiciaires à l'agence Reuters.This comes two days after the JDD revealed that some mysterious person has been signing large checks for bespoke suits from chez Arnys.
I can't think of another candidate whose image has been so totally transformed in the course of a presidential campaign. Yesterday came word that 100 young Juppéistes were deserting LR for En Marche!, so however much the Trocadéro demo, with troops turned out by Sens Commun, may have shored up Fillon's support on the catho-traditional right, it weakened him in the center. If I had to guess, that means that most of Fillon's remaining supporters will go for Le Pen in round 2. This is the hard core of the ex-governmental right, which has no problem with the FN's xenophobia but rejects its defense of welfare chauvinism in favor of a hard-right paring back of the welfare state. The cross-cutting cleavages on immigration, social spending, and relation to the EU are tearing apart the French party system.
The next few years look to be quite unstable no matter who wins the presidency. The Fifth Republic may not be formally replaced by a Sixth, but its vaunted stability seems more and more likely to evaporate in a way that will revive memories of the Fourth.