In a twist against the political norms in France, the French President Francois Hollande has announced in a television broadcast that he will not seek a second term as President. As a general rule even the most unlikely candidates are urged to run for a second term. But on this occasion the President has ruled it out. He stated “I am aware today of the risk that going down a route that would not gather sufficient support would entail, so I have decided not to be a candidate in the presidential election,”
This now opens the door for his socialist party to elect a new leader in order to face off against conservative Francois Fillon and far right leaning party Front nationals leader Marine LePen.
The increasingly unpopular President is now rated as the most unpopular President since the second world war according to polls. France has gone through an extremely poor period of unemployment, and equally poor economic growth. This coupled with terrorist attacks on the country and increasing immigration would certainly point to the possibility of a Trumpesque potential victory for a stark move to the far right.
This could all become very good news for Marine LePen, she was a big supporter of Donald Trump’s tilt to become US president and was also an extremely vocal support of Britain leaving the European Union, indeed hinting that were she to become President that she would also be looking to try and move France out of the multi national trading bloc. Whilst the polls rank her as something of an outsider, the last year has taught many that the polls can be extremely out of step with the public mood. With wild swings to the right in other western democracies, France is seen as another potential step to the right.
Many sources tonight believe that Hollande’s Prime minister Manuel Vallis is the man that the Socialist party would choose to become the future leader of the party, and their main hope of a somewhat unlikely win.
Hollande has become something of a liability as French President, with details of his adulterous behaviour early in to his reign, along with what many perceive to be weak leadership, and in recent interviews for a book he disclosed that he had ordered four killings by secret service agents. This last fact is the last straw for many, who see it as stepping over a national security line.
The French Presidential election is to be held on the 23rd of April 2017.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.