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Manuel Valls presidential bid underwhelms France

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By Euronews
Manuel Valls presidential bid underwhelms France

<p>There has been a muted response to Manuel Valls’s decision to enter the French presidential race. Even those on the Left have been lukewarm with their welcome.</p> <p>Benoît Hamon who is also hoping to be the Left’s presidential candidate believes Valls faces an uphill struggle for support:</p> <p>“He has spent too much effort dividing the Left so he won’t to be able to unite it in such a short time.”</p> <p>Valls is seen as a divisive figure among the Left after forcing labour reforms through parliament and endorsing controversial bans last summer on the Islamic “burkini” swimsuit.</p> <p>Although favourite to take the Socialist nomination, Valls still faces a fight. There are now eight candidates, with Valls’ chief rival being former economy minister Arnaud Montebourg, who is popular among the traditional left.</p> <p>France’s Republicans who have already chosen <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2016/11/28/who-is-francois-fillon">François Fillon</a> as their nominee to contest the 2017 presidential election, do not view Valls as a threat. They believe he is tainted goods by his association with the unpopular Hollande administration.</p> <p>Thierry Solère, spokesman for François Fillon’s campaign:</p> <p>“Valls is like a bookkeeper for Hollande, they share the same result – a bad one, more than a million jobless and more.”</p> <p>Valls will stand in the Socialist primaries next month. If successful, he will face François Fillon and Marine Le Pen in the first round of the presidential election in April.</p> <p>But even if Valls wins the Socialist nomination, there is also a new threat on the horizon in the form of former Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, who is standing as a centrist candidate for his newly created party, En Marche.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="fr" dir="ltr">Je suis candidat à la présidence de la République. MV</p>— Manuel Valls (@manuelvalls) <a href="https://twitter.com/manuelvalls/status/805827675482951680">December 5, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>