Hamon and Valls leads socialist race for French presidency

Hamon and Valls leads socialist race for French presidencyFrench politicians Benoit Hamon and Manuel Valls are in the lead in the first round of the Socialist Party’s primary elections i to win the party’s nomination for presidential bid in the 2017 election, according to early results.

Preliminary vote counts from the first round of the primary elections, which was held on Sunday, showed that the two were ahead of the other five participants.

Hamon, a traditional leftwinger who was sacked from government by President Francois Hollande for criticizing his economic policies, coasted to a comfortable win ahead of Valls, a former Hollande loyalist in government, according to partial results.

They are going to run in the second round of socialist primaries, which will take part next Sunday to determine the sole socialist candidate in the presidential race, scheduled for April 23.

A total of seven candidates from the opposing wings of the leftists’ party were in competition for the nomination. Apart from Hamon and Valls, politicians Francois de Rugy, Arnaud Montebourg, Sylvia Pinel, Vincent Peillon, and Jean-Luc Bennahmias were also running.

Meanwhile, polls suggest that the Socialists have little chance of winning the upcoming presidential election. Polls indicate that the Socialist Party candidate will be eliminated in the first round.

Observers believe the public is swayed by the right wing after almost five years of presidency by socialist Francois Hollande.

Analysts predict the main contenders for the post of president will be far-right leader Marine Le Pen, conservative ex-premier Francois Fillon, and Emmanuel Macron, a socialist-liberal-turned-independent.
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