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Principale » Ex-French PM Valls wants to be Macron candidate

Ex-French PM Valls wants to be Macron candidate

14 Mai 2017

Former French Socialist prime minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday he wanted to stand for President-elect Emmanuel Macron's political movement in June parliamentary elections, the first high-profile defection since Macron's election win on Sunday. But it's not clear if he will be able to do so.

Macron has said half of the candidates for his year-old Republique en Marche (Republic on the Move) for the 577 seats up for grabs in June 11-18 elections will be newcomers, meaning a diverse range of figures from business, civil service, local activism and academia are set to make their first foray into politics.

"Every support to the president is welcome", said Jean-Paul Delevoye, the president of the commission in charge of assessing candidates.

Many of his newcomers, which have been approved by a nomination committee, will be up against seasoned politicians with long careers and local networks of activists and supporters. "His voice is not insignificant, but his candidacy will be treated as anyone else's".

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Valls resigned as prime minister to launch his own presidential bid but in a shock result was defeated in the Socialist Party's primary in January by left-wing candidate Benoit Hamon. The National Assembly in France has full powers to pass laws and approve the prime minister, and the country's two main parties - the Socialists and the Union for a Popular Movement - which for the first time were both absent from the second round of the presidential election, are seeking to use the vote to bounce back.

The president-elect is left-leaning - a one-time Socialist party member - and was a senior advisor to Hollande and an economy minister in his government 2014-2016.

Guillaume Balas, who coordinated Hamon's platform, said Valls "excluded" himself from the party with his allegiance to Macon's movement. "I'm not living with regrets. The essential thing today is to give a broad and coherent Emmanuel Macron to allow him to govern", he said. "I will be a candidate in the presidential majority and I wish to join up to his movement, the Republic on the Move".

Mr Macron is putting together his list of candidates for the legislative elections - a task he has complicated by pledging absolute gender parity and promising that half his candidates will come from outside political circles.