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French President Hollande announces new prime minister: Manuel Valls

French President Francois Hollande selected a new prime minister on Monday to replace the increasingly unpopular Jean-Marc Ayrault. The newly-appointed Prime Minister Manuel Valls was previously the interior minister and has broad electoral support.
By JC Finley   |   March 31, 2014 at 2:48 PM   |   Comments

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March 31 (UPI) -- French President Francois Hollande announced on television Monday evening that he has named Interior Minister Manuel Valls as his new prime minister.

Prior to Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault's resignation, he hinted at a possible cabinet reshuffle when he acknowledged he had lost voter confidence due to growing economic discontent: "This message is clear. The president will draw conclusions, and he will do so in the interest of France."

The president's decision to remove Jean-Marc Ayrault from the position followed Sunday's second round of municipal elections, in which the ruling Socialist party lost 150 towns to the far right Front National and center right Union for a Popular Movement parties.

During his announcement Monday, President Hollande commented on the need for France to fix its public finances. The man he has chosen for the job, Manuel Valls, has broad electoral appeal.


[BBC]

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