Former French PM Manuel Valls pledges allegiance to Emmanuel Macron's movement

Claudine Rigal
Mai 15, 2017

Manuel Valls, a former French Socialist prime minister, said on Tuesday that he wished to support president-elect Emmanuel Macron's political movement in the June elections in the lower house of parliament.

Against the dollar, the euro touched its highest level in six months overnight at $1.1024. "I want Emmanuel Macron to succeed".

"I will fight with all my strength against the divisions that are undermining us", he said.

Macron won 66.1 percent of the vote against 33.9 percent for far-right leader Marine Le Pen, final results from the Interior Ministry showed on Monday.

The legislative elections will take place on June 11 and June 18.

"The old parties are dying, or are already dead", Valls said. Macron joined President Francois Hollande in a commemoration of the formal German defeat in World War II.

He wants to ease rigid labour laws he believes fuel high unemployment, cut state spending, improve education in deprived areas and increase welfare protection to the self-employed. His announcement came with the opposition Republicans also struggling to prevent senior figures from signing up with Mr Macron's République en Marche (Republic on the Move) party.

There is scepticism however about Macron's ability to win a majority with En Marche candidates, meaning he might have to form a coalition. Ferrand also said the names of Macron's 577 candidates in the legislative elections would be announced this Thursday. He has previously said he would like to appoint a woman.

If Mr Valls had been expecting a warm welcome, however, he was disappointed.

"I will do everything I can over the next five years to ensure that people no longer have any reason to vote for extremes", he said. In interviews Monday, National Front officials said the party founded by her father would get a new name to try and draw in a broader spectrum of supporters.

The abstention rate was 25.44 percent compared with a rate of 22.23 percent during the first round of the election on April 23. If another party wins a majority, Macron could be pressured to choose a prime minister from that party, a situation the French call "cohabitation".

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