President François Hollande of France Won’t Seek Re-Election - The New York Times:
President François Hollande delivered a televised statement from the Élysée Palace in Paris
PARIS — President François Hollande stunned France on Thursday when he announced that he would not run for a second term in next year’s presidential election.
In a televised address from the Élysée Palace, Mr. Hollande said that he was “aware of the risks” of a candidacy that would not “rally” enough people to it.
“I have thus decided not to be a candidate in the presidential elections,” Mr. Hollande said.
Mr. Hollande, a Socialist, ended weeks of speculation about his intentions to participate in a re-election bid that few observers thought he could win. He has had some of the worst approval ratings for a president in modern French history.
Polls had indicated that Mr. Hollande, who has struggled to significantly reduce unemployment and whose term has seen some of the worst terrorist attacks on French soil, would not make it past the first round of the elections, which will be held in April.
On Sunday, a socially conservative, budget-cutting former prime minister, François Fillon, won the center-right Republican Party’s nomination for president in a primary.
Mr. Fillon, 62, a sober, dark-suited government veteran, has called for economic sacrifice, major changes in the French workplace and a crackdown on immigration and Islam. He won about 67 percent of the vote, crushing his more centrist opponent, Alain Juppé, another former prime minister."
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