French ex-premier pledges allegiance to Macron's movement

French ex-premier pledges allegiance to Macron's movement

French ex-premier pledges allegiance to Macron's movement

The first potential high-profile defector, Mr Manuel Valls, who was interior and prime minister under President Francois Hollande and lost in the Socialist Party's primary, said he would like to run for Parliament under Mr Macron's party, saying that "this Socialist Party is dead". But it's not clear if he will be able to do so.

En Marche official Jean-Paul Delevoye said "As of today, he [Valls] does not fit the criteria that would allow the investiture committee to take him on". "But support doesn't necessarily translate in nomination. His voice is not insignificant, but his candidacy will be treated as anyone else's".

The poor result triggered a fierce debate within the party on the opportunity of sticking to the left platform defended by Hamon, or to switch back to the more centrist views of Valls and his allies.

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Marine Le Pen, his far-right opponent in the Presidential runoff, quickly called Macron to concede her defeat after voters rejected her "French-first" nationalism by a large margin. "I'm not living with regrets".

New members are flocking to French President-elect Emmanuel Macron's party as it prepares for the elections to the National Assembly next month - starting with a change in its name. "I will be a candidate in the presidential majority and I wish to join up to his movement, the Republic on the Move".

Mr Macron is putting together his list of candidates for the legislative elections - a task he has complicated by pledging absolute gender parity and promising that half his candidates will come from outside political circles.

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Outgoing French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday said he accepted the resignation of the current government led by Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, according to a statement from the Elysee Palace.

That would force Macron, who will be inaugurated on Sunday, to share power with them in what is known as a "cohabitation" in France.

As well as deciding on the crucial figure of his first prime minister - which will send a powerful signal about his intentions - Macron has also had to grapple this week with the case of a problematic former colleague.

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If Macron's party performs poorly, he could also be forced to form a coalition government, a common occurrence in many European countries but something very unusual in France.

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