French Socialists hold presidential primary run-off

Ex-prime minister Manuel Valls, his ex-education minister Hamon, duke it out in second round ahead of late April polls

French Socialists hold presidential primary run-off

World Bulletin / News Desk

Socialists in France are set to hold on Sunday the second round of the presidential primary in search of a left-wing candidate to enter the fray in the April 23 election.

The primary is open to all who are registered on the electoral roll and for a €1 ($1.04) fee. The Socialist Party are aiming for 2 million voters after a 1.7 million in the first round last weekend.

The two battling candidates are former Prime Minister Manuel Valls and his former education minister Benoit Hamon..

The center-leaning Valls came in second with 31 percent, tailing the more liberal Hamon who secured more than 36 percent of the vote, giving the current Yvelines lawmaker the lead on the run-off.

In their last tete-a-tete debate, Valls, 54, told his supporters the runoff would be "a clear choice between unachievable promises and a credible left”.

Hamon, 49, presented himself as the hope to save the limping Socialist Party after a five-year term under President Francois Hollande marked by terror attacks, a struggling economy and mass protests.

Opinion polls, however, show the divided Socialists failing to get past the first of the two-round presidential election set for April 23 and May 7. Indicators point to independent candidate and former economy minister under President Hollande, Emmanuel Macron, conservative candidate and former Prime Minister Francois Fillon, and far-right leader Marine Le Pen as competing for the first two spots of the first round.

A Fillon-Le Pen presidential run-off had been considered the most likely scenario until reports came out last Wednesday accusing Fillon of misusing public funds.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Ocak 2017, 09:31
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