Former French Prime Minister Valls plans to back Macron in June elections | News | DW | 09.05.2017
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French politics

Former French Prime Minister Valls plans to back Macron in June elections

Manuel Valls, France's former Socialist premier, says he wants to stand for incoming President Emmanuel Macron's fledgling movement in June's elections. Macron is seeking a parliamentary majority to underpin his agenda.

Frankreich Manuel Valls PK zur Kandidatur in Paris (Reuters/C. Platiau)

Valls in January as he sought but failed to clinch the Socialist ticket

On Tuesday, former Prime Minister Manuel Valls told RTL radio that he wished to join Emmanuel Macron's political movement as it strives to win a majority in France's lower house of parliament. 

The 54-year-old centrist on the pro-business wing of the Socialists quit his premiership under President Francois Hollande last December, but failed in his bid to clinch the Socialist nomination for president.

President-elect Macron, 39, was previously economy minister in Hollande's cabinet.

Valls told RTL: "I will be a candidate in the presidential majority and I wish to join up to his movement, namely the "Republic on the Move."

On Monday, the chief of Macron's movement, Richard Ferrand, said it would modify its name to "Republic on the Move" so as to structure itself more like a traditional party.

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Established parties torn

France's two conventional parties - the conservative Republicans and the left-wing Socialists - both failed to reach the presidential runoff vote in which Macron defeated the far-right's Marine Le Pen.

The Socialists remain torn between the radical left of their defeated candidate Benoit Hamon and the more centrist  branch that had been led by Valls.

Last December, Valls was replaced as prime minister by Bernard Cazeneuve, who in his previous role as interior minister had overseen France's reaction to jihadist attacks.

On Monday, several thousand people led by the powerful CGT labor federation marched in protest against Macron's planned liberalization of labor laws.

Macron's plans also included lower state spending, higher investment and reforms of France's tax and pension systems.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday praised Macron for the "courageous pro-European campaign" he waged against Le Pen's the far-right nationalist movement.

ipj/rt (dpa, Reuters)

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