© AFP | Former French prime minister Francois Fillon (R) leaves after voting on November 20, 2016 in Paris
PARIS (AFP) – Former French prime minister Francois Fillon took a strong lead in the first round of the rightwing presidential primary Sunday but ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy risks elimination, partial results showed.In a major surprise, Fillon had 42.8 percent of the vote to 26 percent for former prime minister Alain Juppe and 24.4 percent for Sarkozy, according to tallies from one third of polling stations.
Only the top two candidates progress to next week’s run-off.
“I did not manage to convince the voters,” Sarkozy said in a speech to supporters after he was beaten into a surprise third place behind Francois Fillon and Alain Juppe, who move into next Sunday’s run-off.
Tags: Alain Juppé, Fillon, François Fillon, France, French elections, French right, rightwing Frence, Sarkozy, Sarkozy conceded defeat in the first round of the rightwing presidential primary on Sunday