World Bulletin / News Desk
- French President-elect Emmanuel Macron's political movement -- La Republique en Marche (Republic on the Move) -- revealed on Thursday a list of hundreds of candidates ahead of a crucial general election.
However, former Socialist prime minister, Manuel Valls -- who had indicated he wished to run for Macron’s movement -- did not appear on the list.
The two-round legislative elections are scheduled to take place on June 11 and June 18 to elect the 577 members of the National Assembly, France’s lower and more powerful house of parliament.
Macron's movement pledged earlier to field candidates in each constituency -- it needs to win 290 seats to secure a majority.
Richard Ferrand, La Republique en Marche's secretary-general, told a news conference the list of the 428 candidates chosen so far contained 214 women and 214 men.
"Fifty-two percent of the candidates are from civil society; they have never held an elective mandate," he added.
Ferrand said some 19,000 applications for candidacy had been submitted online since Jan. 19. The movement only interviewed 1,700 of the applicants.
"The youngest candidate is 24 years old; the oldest candidate is 72 years old," Ferrand said.
Ferrand confirmed the list did not include former Prime Minister Valls, who this week made headlines and caused a row within his Socialist Party by saying it was "dead" and announcing he would be a candidate for La Republique En Marche.
"Manuel Valls does not meet the criteria," Ferrand said. However, the former PM will not face a La Republique En Marche competitor in the elections.
Macron, 39, has repeatedly vowed his movement's candidates would be fresh faces, coming form from civil society and being new to politics.
The movement was started by Macron, a former economy minister, in August 2016.
After his decisive victory over far-right leader Marine le Pen last Sunday, Macron resigned from the leadership of the movement.
Outgoing French President Francois Hollande will delegate his powers to Macron on Sunday.