Hollande Tells Observateur He Won’t Step Down in Face of Polls

French President Francois Hollande said a slump in opinion polls and the turmoil created by his ex-partner’s tell-all book won’t force him to step down, according to an interview to be published tomorrow in Le Nouvel Observateur magazine.

“No poll, no political turmoil will kick me out,” Hollande said after his approval rating fell as low as 13 percent this month. His former partner and First Lady Valerie Trierweiler wrote that he dislikes poor people and called them “the toothless” in a book published this month.

In the two-page interview, Hollande urged his supporters in parliament to back a confidence motion his government is facing next week. Prime Minister Manuel Valls called the vote after overhauling his cabinet last month.

Hollande said he would dissolve the National Assembly, the lower chamber of parliament, and then call elections for only two reasons: if the confidence vote failed or if he faced major strikes like those seen in 1968 and 1995.

Hollande, the most unpopular French leader since the current constitution was approved in 1958, is due to hold a semi-annual press conference on Sept. 18, two days after the confidence vote.

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