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Fillon Says He Won't Give in to Pressure to Step Down From Race

  • French presidential candidate speaks on national television
  • Party leaders defect as employment scandal continues

Francois Fillon said he won’t give in to pressure from France’s Republican party and that he’ll stay in the race for the presidential election following a rally he said proved his legitimacy as a candidate.

“No one has the power to force me to step down, it’s my decision,” Fillon said during an interview on France 2 television Sunday evening. “Any change so close to the elections is necessarily doomed to fail.” He declared his innocence against allegations that he hired his wife as a parliamentary aide though she did no work. His appearance had remained uncertain all day after the TV interview was canceled and then rescheduled.