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Francois Fillon has vowed that "no one" could force him to quit his bid for the presidency despite calls for him within his own Republican party to step down over an expenses scandal.
The politician is facing corruption allegations over claims that he paid his wife for work that she never did.
But he was in a defiant mood after holding a rally in Paris on Sunday attended by tens of thousands of supporters.
"No one today can prevent me being a candidate," Mr Fillon said in a TV interview on Sunday night in which he again insisted an investigation into the payment scandal was politically motivated.
"Of course it is aimed at stopping me being a candidate," he added.
The Republican party will meet later today to discuss whether to change their candidate for the presidential election.