On Sunday 27 August, François Fillon announced he would participate in the Républicains primaries in order to run for the 2017 Presidential Elections.
The 62-year-old served as Prime Minister from 2007-2012 under Nicolas Sarkozy and is a member of Les Republicains. Fillon has filled several ministerial posts, including Minister of Social Affairs, Labour and Solidarity and Minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research.
Fillon was born in Le Mans and studied Public Law there at the l’université du Maine. He later went on to achieve a Master of Advance Studies in Public Law from Paris Descartes University.
Many were surprised when Fillon won the first centre-right primary on Sunday 20th November.
Fillon has taken a strong stance on promoting French identity, recently publishing a book warning of the dangers of “Islamic totalitarianism.” However, he has promised to share “French values” with “everyone who, with their differences, loves France.”
Fillon has also called for improved relations with Russia and a number of eye-catching reforms including: ending the 35-hour workweek, cutting public spending, abolishing the wealth tax and investing €12 billion in security, defence and justice. He has also promised to cut 500,000 jobs from the civil service.
He is a practicing Catholic but has insisted that this would not influence his politics. Having been born in Le Mans, it’s no surprise that Fillon is a motor-racing enthusiast. His other hobbies are said to include mountaineering and bullfights (as a spectator, presumably).
A notable Anglophile and admirer of Margaret Thatcher, Fillon married Welsh-born Penelope Kathryn Clarke in 1980. The couple have five children together. One of Fillon’s brothers, ophthalmic specialist Pierre Fillon later married Penelope’s younger sister Jane.