Manuel Valls named Prime Minister
President François Hollande announced yesterday afternoon that former interior minister Manuel Valls was to become France’s new Prime Minister.
The move came after Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced his and his Cabinet’s resignation following local elections held last month in which the ruling Socialist Party received a drubbing at the hands of the centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) and far-right National Front (FN).
Valls (51) will now be charged with forming a new government. Born in Barcelona with a Spanish father and Swiss mother, Valls became a French citizen in 1982. In 1980 Valls joined the Socialist Party and from 1983 – 1986 he was a parliamentary attaché before being elected to the Regional Council for the Ile-de-France in 1986. Valls was an adviser to the prime minister’s office from 1988 – 1991. In 1988 he became First Secretary of the Socialist Federation and in 1995 he became the Secretary of Communications for the national Socialist Party (PS).
Valls was also elected Mayor of Évry in 2001, a post he held until 2012. He joined the National Assembly as Deputy for the First Electoral District in Essonne in 2002. Manuel Valls became Minister of the Interior in May 2012, a post he has held until this most recent appointment.
Often described as the most ‘right-wing’ member of the Socialist Party, Valls has defined himself as a Blairite and has said that he wants to ‘reconcile the left to the liberal approach’. Manuel Valls is married and has four children.