President Hollande, unpopular figure, rules out 2017 run
French President Francois Hollande announced Thursday that he would not seek a second term in next year’s presidential election, saying he hoped to give his Socialist party a chance to win “against conservatism and extremism” by stepping aside.
“I have decided not to be a candidate in the presidential election,” Hollande said in a somber address on French television that recapped his achievements since taking office in 2012.
The 62-year-old president — the country’s least popular leader since World War II — said he was “conscious of the risks” his lack of support posed to a successful candidacy.
“What’s at stake is not a person, it’s the country’s future,” he said.
The Socialist party has been deeply divided over Hollande’s policies, with rebels within the party openly criticizing his pro-business strategy and calling for more leftleaning policies.