French ex-prime minister Manuel Valls quits Socialist Party Tuesday June 27,2017
French ex-prime minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday June 27,2017 that he was quitting the Socialist Party and would be allied with President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist group, in another humiliation for the former ruling party.
“Part of my political life is coming to an end. I am leaving the Socialist Party, or the Socialist Party is leaving me,” the 54-year-old told RTL radio.
Mr. Valls said he would now be part of the presidential “majority” in the National Assembly led by Macron’s Republic on the Move (REM), although the party has ruled out the possibility of Mr.Valls taking a leading role.
Mr. Valls, who was prime minister under Socialist president Francois Hollande from 2014 to 2016, was rejected by Socialist voters in the party’s primary to choose a candidate for this year’s presidential election.
The party chose hard-left candidate Benoit Hamon over the reform-minded Mr. Valls but Mr. Hamon failed to reach the run-off of the presidential election in May, with France’s two big traditional parties both falling at the first hurdle.
Mr. Macron’s party won a commanding majority in the legislative election that followed, completing the president’s transformation of the French political landscape.
The Socialists were humiliated, losing over 200 seats after five years in power overshadowed by sluggish economic growth and high unemployment