Pres­i­dent Hol­lande, un­pop­u­lar fig­ure, rules out 2017 run

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

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.

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