Valls Says He’d Run for President If Hollande Doesn’t: Le Monde

  • French prime minister ready to run in May election, Monde Says
  • Hollande at heart of criticism after tell-all book publication

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told close aides he stands ready to run for president in the May 2017 elections if current president Francois Hollande decides not to seek a second term, Le Monde newspaper reported 

“If Hollande doesn’t run, I’ll immediately be a candidate,” the newspaper quoted Valls as telling his aides. A spokesman for Valls wasn’t immediately reachable.

Both Hollande and Valls are Socialist Party members. The party has said it would organize primaries in January to nominate its candidate for the April-May two-round presidential elections. Hollande has drawn criticism after a tell-all book led even some of his closest allies to question his judgment.

The book, whose French title translates as “A President Shouldn’t Say That...,” was written by two Le Monde journalists based on about 100 hours of interviews with Hollande. In the book, the president takes swipes at judges, soccer players, a former girlfriend, and both fellow Socialists and opposition politicians.

The book, and the controversy it generated, comes weeks before Hollande must decide whether to seek a second mandate in next year’s presidential elections. Not a single poll has shown he’d win enough votes in the April 23 first round to qualify for the May 7 run-off.

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