French President François Hollande has appointed Bernard Cazeneuve on Tuesday as the prime minister of France. The post was hitherto held by Manuel Valls, who resigned on Monday to run for next year’s presidential elections.
Cazeneuve, who until now was ahead of the Interior Ministry, was appointed to the post minutes after Valls left the Elysee Palace, where he met with Hollande to file his resignation.
“Manuel Valls resigned, and the president appointed Bernard Cazeneuve as the new prime minister,” a spokesman for the presidency told Efe.
Cazeneuve, 53, is a close ally of Hollande. He joined the government in 2012 as head of European Affairs. The following year, he began to direct the Finance Department. In April 2014, Cazeneuve assumed the position of Interior Minister, who was formerly occupied by Valls.
Elections of the Socialist Party
When he relinquished his post to the French presidential elections in 2017, Valls put an end to speculation about his likely candidacy for the Socialist Party. Last week, Socialist François Hollande also announced that he would not run for a new term.
The primaries of the Socialist Party will be held in two rounds in January of next year to elect a candidate for the presidential election. This is scheduled for April and May of next year.
Valls, 54, represents a more liberal socialism, and therefore must face resistance from the party’s more leftist wing. In 2012, he was appointed Minister of the Interior and, two years later, became prime minister.
Seven other politicians announced their candidacy for the Socialist primary elections, among them the former minister Arnaud Montebourg. The Socialist candidate who wins in the primaries will face conservative François Fillon, who defeated former President Nicolas Sarkozy in the primaries, and right-wing populist Marine Le Pen of the National Front. So far, polls point to Fillon and Le Pen as favorites.