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Bernard Cazeneuve Ascends to Post of French Prime Minister

FILE - Then-French Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve gives a press conference at the Elysee Palace.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has been picked by President Francois Hollande to fill the post of prime minister.

Cazeneuve is succeeding Manuel Valls, who resigned Tuesday to seek the Socialist Party's nomination for next year's presidential election. The 54-year-old Valls put his name in contention to succeed Hollande, who announced last week during a televised address that he would not seek a second term.

As interior minister, Cazeneuve has been at the forefront of the country's response to a string of attacks by Islamic extremists that have killed over 200 people over the last two years, including the last year's coordinated attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead.

If Valls wins the Socialist primary in January, he will 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.

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