Manuel Valls resigns as PM to stand for President
Following the decision by President François Hollande not to seek the Socialist Party (PS) nomination for next year’s presidential election, Prime Minister Manuel Valls has quit as premier so that he can fight the 2017 poll. Valls will have to face party primaries in January.
If successful in his bid to be the socialist candidate, Valls will take on François Fillon who was selected as the centre-right The Republicans candidate on 27th November. Both candidates will be up against Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front (FN). Le Pen is on 25% of the vote in the most recent polls with Fillon on 31%. Valls, before declaring his candidacy was on 9%, probably reflecting the poor popularity rating of François Holland and his government. Emmanuel Macron, the former Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, resigned his portfolio in August to stand for president and established a new centrist party called En Marche! (Forward!); he has 17% of the vote according the latest opinion polls.
The first round of the presidential election will be held on 23rd April 2017 with an almost certain second round runoff to take place on 7th May.