Paris (AFP)

MoDem chairman Francois Bayrou said Thursday he will not resign from the mayor of Pau if he was indicted in the case of allegedly fictitious jobs assistants of MEPs his party.

"You still do not want that for a false accusation I abandon my fellow citizens ... (...) So I am mayor of Pau until the end of March next", date of the next municipal, replied Mr. Bayrou on RMC and BFMTV, without ruling on his candidacy for a new term.

"Everyone is indicted or almost in the French political life," he also relativized while it must be heard by the investigating judges of the financial pole on December 6.

After two years of investigation, the investigating judges decided to summon several MoDem officials, including Mr. Bayrou, Marielle de Sarnez and Sylvie Goulard, to indict them in this case.

The magistrates seek to determine whether parliamentary collaborators have been paid by European Parliament funds when they were in fact assigned to other tasks for the centrist party.

"It's not because they're accusing you of something that's true," said Bayrou.

According to him, the collaborators worked "part-time" for the MoDem and "were paid for a fraction of the time by the European Parliament and the other faction of time by our movement". "What is wrong with that?" He asked.

Mr. Bayrou blamed the case on "slanderers", adding that "the most harmful political adversaries are those who have been with you at one time", but refusing to give names.

This case had already led in the summer of 2017 the resignation of François Bayrou of his position as Minister of Justice, but also those of Marielle de Sarnez (European Affairs) and Sylvie Goulard (Armed).

Former Minister of Justice Michel Mercier, who served as MoDem treasurer until 2009, was indicted on November 22 in this case for "complicity in embezzlement of public funds".

© 2019 AFP