The French presidential election is heating up as more candidates join the race, including French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who announced his resignation last week to begin his presidential campaign.
Valls will run as a centrist in the French Socialist party, taking the place of current President François Hollande, who announced he would not run for re-election because of his decline in popularity. Valls, who is only slightly more popular than Hollande, hopes to be able to fight off the two much more conservative candidates, Republican François Fillon and National Front party leader Marine Le Pen.
After the election of Donald Trump in the United States, the French left is worried that a similar fate could face France, and Europe as a whole, bringing authoritarian and populist leaders to power. Valls aims to fight that movement, but it is possible that the French populations’ wish for an anti-establishment leader may be stronger than the political left is predicting.
As Valls begins his presidential campaign, former interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve has taken over as prime minister. His first task as prime minister has been to ask for an extension of France’s current state of emergency in response to past terror attacks until a new president is elected.
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