French PM Valls announces presidential bid

PARIS : French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced on Monday his presidential bid for the 2017 election.

Speaking in the southern Paris suburb of Evry, where he governed as mayor for 11 years, he added that he would step down as prime minister on Tuesday in order to focus on his campaign.

My candidacy is a revolt to the idea that the left is disqualified from this presidential election. This revolt, I make it ours, he said Monday evening, referring to most -- if not all -- polls showing no left-wing candidate will qualify for the second round of the presidential election.

His announcement comes after Francois Hollande said last Thursday he would not run for a second term, becoming the first sitting president in modern French history not to do so.

Valls will participate in the Socialist primary scheduled on Jan. 22 and 29. The French presidential election will take place on April 23 and May 7.

Government spokesman Stephane Le Foll -- also Agriculture Minister -- Finance Minister Michel Sapin and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve are seen as likely successors to become prime minister, according to local media reports.

Source: Anadolu Agency