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France's Hollande nears exit as party falls apart

12 May 2017

France's former Socialist Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, has said that he will support President-elect Emmanuel Macron's start-up party - now named La République En Marche! - in next month's parliamentary elections.

"I will be a candidate in the presidential majority and I wish to join up to his movement, namely the "Republic on the Move", Valls told RTL radio.

He faces a huge task to unite a fractured, anxious country and to win a parliamentary majority in June's general election, without which he could struggle to implement his ambitious reform agenda.

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"The voting trends in Bengaluru for the elections was representative of the global trends, with most votes for Emmanuel Macron", she said, adding that Le Pen played with people's fears and insecurities. Mr Valls is planning to run in the Essonne department, his fiefdom south of Paris, but Republic on the Move officials said his nomination will not be automatic.

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But for the first time in the country's post-war history, the new president does not have a big party machine behind him, with the two main governing parties, the Republicans and Socialists, crashing out in the first round.

As the world continues to take in Emmanuel Macron's resounding victory in the French election, attention is already turning to his plans for the next five years, with the environment likely to be a key part of the independent centrist's presidency.

The rest will be defectors from the Socialists and right-wing Republicans and members of Mr Macron's movement and the allied centrist Modem party. It will release its list of 577 candidates on Thursday.

One of those at Sunday's victory rally, 50-year-old nuclear technician Alain Perrouault, said he had voted for Macron primarily to counter Le Pen.

In the final round on 7 May Macron emerged a convincing victor with 65.1% to Le Pen's 34.9%, and the climate of uncertainty created by the closeness of the first round came to a sharp end.

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Le Pen, 48, defiantly claimed the mantle of France's main opposition in calling on "all patriots" to constitute a "new political force".

The Prime Minister on Tuesday said he was looking forward to working with Macron to further deepen the cooperation between India and France.

The fervently pro-European Macron wants to team up with Germany to reform the European Union, which has been weakened by Britain's vote to leave.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker put it bluntly: "With France, we have a particular problem".

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