French PM Manuel Valls steps down, announces 2017 presidential bid
In his speech, Valls, said he would step down from his current role on Tuesday, triggering a government reshuffle less than five months before the first round of presidential polls
France's prime minister, Manuel Valls, has resigned from his post to declare his candidacy for the president as the Socialist candidate in the 2017 presidential election in France, The Guardian has reported.
The 54-year-old Spanish-born politician announced his candidacy in a speech from his political base in Paris suburb of Evry. In his speech, Valls, said he would step down from his current role on Tuesday, triggering a government reshuffle less than five months before the first round of presidential polls.
“Yes I am a candidate for the presidency,” Valls said in Evry’s city hall, surrounded by supporters. “I have this strength in me, it’s beyond words. I want to give everything for France, which has given me so much. The extreme right is standing at the doorstep of power. Let’s push it back.”
Je suis candidat à la présidence de la République. MV
— Manuel Valls (@manuelvalls) December 5, 2016
Speculations about Valls joining the race began last week after President Francois Hollande said that he will not be running for a second term.The French Socialist Party is to hold a two-round primary in January to choose its presidential candidate. The first round of the French presidential vote is scheduled for April 23 next year with a run-off on May 7.
Valls potrayed himself as an experienced hand ready to stand against authoritarian and populist political forces that have risen around France.
“I want an independent France,” Mr. Valls said, “inflexible in its values faced with the China of Xi Jinping, the Russia of Vladimir Putin, the America of Donald Trump, the Turkey of Recep Erdogan. We need strong experience in this world.”