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New French scandal likely to boost far-right: analysts

A combination made on November 9, 2014 shows French former Prime minister Francois Fillon (L), the general secretary at the Elysee presidential palace Jean-Pierre Jouyet, and former French President Nicolas SarkozyThe latest scandal to rock French politics has sucked in both discredited mainstream parties and is only likely to benefit the jubilant far-right leader Marine Le Pen, experts say. “This is really a toxic affair from the point of view of public opinion because it hits the left and the right… and we know who wins out,” said Frederic Dabi of polling group Ifop, referring to Le Pen. The scandal revolves around Nicolas Sarkozy and a legal case over the funding of his 2012 presidential campaign but for once does not directly involve the right-wing former head of state. At a now infamous lunch in Paris’s posh eighth district in June, former prime minister Francois Fillon reportedly urged President Francois Hollande’s right-hand man to accelerate proceedings against Sarkozy to prevent his political comeback.

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