December 5, 2016 / 6:02 PM / a year ago

French PM Valls announces presidential bid

EVRY, France (Reuters) - French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Monday he was a candidate for next year’s presidential election and wanted to unite the Left.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls attends a news conference to announce that he is a candidate for January's Socialist presidential primary at the town hall in Evry, near Paris, France, December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

“Yes, I am candidate for the presidency of the Republic,” Valls said in a speech to supporters in his fiefdom of Evry, south of Paris.

His announcement followed a primary ballot in which Francois Fillon, a 62-year-old ex-prime minister, secured a resounding win to become the presidential candidate of the center-right Les Republicains party.

The leftwing primaries take place in January and the presidential election in two rounds in April and May.

Reporting by Christian Hartmann; Writing by Brian Love and Ingrid Melander; Editing by John Irish

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