Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has called for a meeting with embattled conservative candidate Francois Fillon and his possible replacement to find a solution to the crisis that threatens to shatter the French right.
Mr Sarkozy said the current divisions, which are linked to Mr Fillon’s decision to maintain his presidential bid despite impending corruption charges, are playing into the hands of the far-right.
Mr Sarkozy said this situation “cannot last” and is creating “deep unease” among French people.
Despite a plethora of defections by conservative allies in recent days, Mr Fillon has pledged to remain in the race.
Mr Fillon’s Republicans party remains dangerously divided over his candidacy, though, and its political committee is holding an urgent meeting on Monday.
Many conservatives want Alain Juppe, a former prime minister, to run in Mr Fillon’s place.