French conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon urged his supporters not to “give up the fight” for the presidency despite corruption allegations dogging him.
A crowd of thousands were chanting “Fillon, President!” at a Paris rally on Sunday seen as a test of whether he has enough backing to maintain his candidacy.
Mr Fillon assailed the conservative allies who have abandoned his campaign, and pledged to create jobs and slash public spending to put France back on its feet.
Mr Fillon’s Welsh wife Penelope arrived with her husband at the rally. She has kept an extremely low profile since financial investigators began examining allegations she and two of their children had taxpayer-funded jobs they never fulfilled.
Mr Fillon had been a front-runner for France’s two-round April-May presidential election until the investigation began.