Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 10055 votes: 3
Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:28 pm Post subject: French President Hollande won't seek second term
( some surprise news out of france , its socialist president won't run for re-election )
France presidency: Francois Hollande decides not to run again
21 minutes ago
Mr Hollande said he could not accept seeing the Socialist party falling apart
In a surprise move Francois Hollande has announced he will not seek a second term as president of France.
"I've decided not to be a candidate to renew my mandate," the Socialist leader said in a live televised address.
Mr Hollande, faced with very low popularity ratings, has become the first sitting president in modern French history not to seek re-election.
He said he was aware of the risks of running and warned of the threat from the far-right National Front.
One of the first reactions came from a former economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, who said the president had made a "courageous decision". He is himself now standing for president as an independent centrist, having resigned from the government a few months ago.
But Mr Hollande's decision not to stand now opens up the Socialist party contest in January. Prime Minister Manuel Valls is likely to be favourite to win the candidacy, having said last weekend he was ready to run.
Last weekend, more than four million French voters chose ex-Prime Minister Francois Fillon to represent the centre-right Republicans in the two-stage vote in April and May next year.
Latest opinion polls suggest he would win the first round in April, ahead of far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen. If Mr Valls were the Socialist candidate he would be placed third. Mr Fillon would then go on to win the run-off.
Mr Hollande said that in his final months as president "my only duty will be to continue to lead my country".
"The world, Europe, France have faced particularly serious challenges during my mandate. In these particularly challenging circumstances I wanted to maintain national cohesion," he said.
During his term in office, he devoted all his energy to cutting unemployment, and it had begun to fall but far later than he had hoped.
Since January 2015, Mr Hollande's presidency has been overshadowed by jihadist terror attacks in Paris and Nice and elsewhere. France has been under a state of emergency amid fears of further attack.
Mr Hollande came to power promising a period of normality, after the turbulent centre-right presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy.
But he struggled to introduce reform and faced rebellion from the left wing of his Socialist party.
His judgement was called into question in October, when a book of damaging revelations was published in October, entitled A President Shouldn't Say That.
He suggested the justice system was full of "cowards" and labelled his left-wing opponents a "crowd of idiots".
Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 10055 votes: 3
Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:35 pm Post subject:
( the left is clearly on the run in Europe )
French President Francois Hollande will not seek re-election
By James Masters and Bryony Jones, CNN
Updated 3:03 PM ET, Thu December 1, 2016
(CNN) — France's President Francois Hollande confirmed Thursday he will not seek a second term in office.
French voters will go to the polls in April and May 2017, but Hollande, who has been beset by low popularity ratings, says he will not stand for re-election.
"I am speaking to you this evening to inform you of the decision I have taken in view of the forthcoming presidential election," he said. "I have decided not to be a candidate in the presidential election."
Hollande's Socialist Party will now have to find a candidate to run against Francois Fillon, of the center-right Republican Party, and Marine Le Pen, of the far-right Front National.
Hollande, 62, defeated Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012 to become the first Socialist president to win a French election since François Mitterrand's re-election in 1988.
He cited achievements under his watch, including opening up marriage to all couples, strengthening women's equality and fighting against discrimination.
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He said unemployment had declined since the beginning of the year, but conceded "it remains at too high a level."
France has been hit by several major terrorist attacks, in Paris and Nice, during his presidency, events that he touched on during his address.
"The world, Europe and France went through particularly severe tests during my term in office.
"In these terrible circumstances, I wanted national cohesion to be maintained, so that we could avoid division and stigmatization ... I took the necessary measures."
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