French Prime Minister Manuel Valls to run in presidential election

Paris, Dec 6 (IANS) France’s Prime Minister, the Socialist Manuel Valls, said on Monday that he will contest the 2017 presidential elections and that he would announce his resignation from his post as head of the government on Tuesday.

“Yes, I am a candidate for the presidency of the Republic,” EFE news quoted Valls as saying at the beginning of a speech that he gave at the town hall of Evry, where he was mayor for 11 years from 2001 to 2012.

He then added he would leave his current post as Prime Minister to launch his electoral proposals to the French electorate.

Valls made his announcement days after President Francois Hollande said he would not be running for re-election.

The 54-year-old Valls will have to vie with other Socialist contenders in a primary to be held in January.

Should he see off his rivals for the Socialist candidacy, he would then have to campaign against Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen in the first round of the presidential election set to take place in April.

Valls has always been considered a plain-speaking, ambitious politician who joined the Socialists Party aged 17 years old and has defended its centrist policies.