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Monday 19 February 2018

Emmanuel Macron rejects former French PM Manuel Valls as election candidate

Emmanuel Macron will be France's youngest president when he takes power on Sunday (AP)
Emmanuel Macron will be France's youngest president when he takes power on Sunday (AP)

Former French prime minister Manuel Valls has been rejected by President-elect Emmanuel Macron's movement as it tries to reshape politics.

It is a tough blow for the once-popular Mr Valls, who cracked down on security as France was hit with extremist attacks and had been seen as potential presidential material himself.

He asked to run for parliament next month as part of Mr Macron's movement Republic on the Move, but party secretary Richard Ferrand said on Thursday that his request was denied.

That was because he has already served three parliamentary terms, one of the criteria for ruling out potential candidates as the party tries to put fresh faces in politics.

However, Mr Ferrand said the party would not present a candidate to run against Mr Valls in his constituency of Evry, south of Paris.

The announcement came as Republic on the Move revealed a list of 428 people running for parliament - half of them are women, and most have never held elected office.

Mr Ferrand told reporters that 95% of the candidates are not part of the outgoing National Assembly.

All 577 seats in the lower house of parliament are up for grabs in the elections.

Mr Ferrand said the average age of Mr Macron's candidates is 46, compared to 60 for the outgoing assembly.

The list includes a few unemployed people and students as well.

Mr Ferrand said the movement received more than 19,000 dossiers from people answering its call for candidates.


Press Association

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