As many as 68 percent of the respondents believe that Francois Fillon, a presidential candidate of The Republicans party, should step down as a presidential nominee since he is now entangled in a police investigation of his wife allegedly having been paid for a job she may not have done, a poll by Ifop showed.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the survey's results published by Le Journal de Dimanche newspaper on Saturday, only 23 percent of the respondents thought that Fillon was "honest."
The poll showed, however, that 64 percent of The Republicans supporters wanted him to stay in the race, which could give him a fighting chance, as well as the seeming lack of replacement candidate.
Fillon, who was initially one of the pollsters' favorites, saw his ratings drop after the scandal broke out in late January around his wife allegedly having been paid for jobs without exercising her duties. French media also questioned Fillon's children's employment as his parliamentary assistants between 2005 and 2007.
The French police, which opened a probe into the matter, carried out searches in the headquarters of the magazine where his wife Penelope Fillon used to work and in the French Senate. On Saturday, French Mediapart news outlet published the copies of checks that supposedly serve as evidence of Fillon misappropriating public funds.
The center-right candidate has denied all accusations and pledged to continue fighting.
The first round of the French presidential elections is scheduled for April 23, with the run-off slated for May 7.