French socialists hold 2nd round of primaries to elect presidential candidate

January 29, 2017 5:30 pm

Candidates for the Socialist Party’s presidential nomination, former French education minister Benoit Hamon (L) and former French prime minister Manuel Valls (photo by AFP)

French voters have gone to the polls to choose one of two Socialist nominees destined to compete against candidates from other political factions in ’s presidential election this spring.
Politicians Benoit Hamon, 49, or Manuel Valls, 54, are contesting in the Sunday votes. The two nominees were chosen from among seven nominees from the Socialist Party in a first round of voting last week.
Hamon, who is a former education minister, grabbed headlines by proposing to pay all French adults a monthly stipend of 750 euros (800 dollars) and legalize cannabis. Ex-prime minister Valls has emphasized on his experience in government as his comparative advantage to his rival.
Analysts say the left-wing candidate, whoever he will be, has a slim chance of being elected as the next French president in the upcoming election. Recent polls show that the socialists’ candidate will be eliminated in the first round of the presidential race, which is slated for April 23.
President Francois Hollande, who also comes from the Socialist Party, has announced that he will not compete in the upcoming election.
Analysts predict the vote will be between the conservative ex-premier Francois Fillon, far-right leader Marine Le Pen, and Emmanuel Macron, a socialist-liberal-turned-independent.
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