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French PM Announces Presidential Bid

  • VOA News

FILE - French Prime Minister Manuel Valls leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris, November 9, 2016. Before being able to compete in the presidential election, Valls will face off with other candidates in the Socialist party primary in January.

France’s Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls has announced he will run for president in next year's election.

Valls said he wanted to unite the political left in a speech Monday evening in the Paris suburb of Evry. "I want to give everything for France," he said.

Valls said he will quit his job as prime minister on Tuesday in order to focus on his run for president.

He will face other candidates in the Socialist party primary in January.

His announcement comes after French President Francois Hollande said last week during a televised address he did not plan to run for a second term due to insufficient support to win. Hollande, also in the Socialist Party, is the first French incumbent in years to step down without running for re-election.

The 54-year-old Valls has long been seen as a presidential candidate and his status as the Socialists' likely candidate for 2017 was further solidified after Hollande’s decision not to seek a second term.

If Valls wins the Socialist primary in January, he would compete against Francois Fillon, a 62-year-old former prime minister, who secured a resounding win last week to become the presidential candidate of the center-right Republican Party.

Francois Fillon puts his hand on his heart after delivering a speech following the conservative presidential primary, in Paris, France, Nov. 27, 2016. Fillon might face Valls in France's presidential election next year.

Francois Fillon puts his hand on his heart after delivering a speech following the conservative presidential primary, in Paris, France, Nov. 27, 2016. Fillon might face Valls in France's presidential election next year.

France's presidential election takes place in two rounds next April and May.

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