French Premier ‘Ready to Lead Fight’ in 2017 Presidential Race

  • Hollande still hasn’t said whether seeking re-election
  • Valls leading French president in latest opinion polls

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he was prepared to represent the Socialist Party in the country’s presidential race next year amid doubts about Francois Hollande’s re-election bid.

"I’m ready to lead the fight for 2017," Valls said in an interview Saturday with French TV channel BFM. "I want people to regain hope and desire.”

Hollande, whose popularity is near a record low for French presidents, has yet to officially commit to a bid for a second term. Valls, who is leading Hollande in polls, has said he would run if the president doesn’t seek reelection.

France’s presidential election is scheduled for April 23, with a runoff set for May 7 if no candidate secures an absolute majority. Hollande has promised to state his intentions by mid-December.

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