Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus : Liberia shuts most border points

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"What would you do?"

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

  • Israeli strikes target symbols of Hamas power

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al-Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • Israel warns of ‘prolonged’ campaign in Gaza

    Read more

  • French mayor files complaint against US father who risked kids’ lives on Mont Blanc

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • The centenary of Austria-Hungary’s calamitous last hurrah

    Read more

France

Hollande names Interior Minister Manuel Valls as France’s new prime minister

© Photo: AFP.

Video by Jennifer LUSH

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-01

French President François Hollande announced that he would replace Jean-Marc Ayrault (centre) with Manuel Valls (right) as prime minister in a cabinet reshuffle intended to mark a fresh start after Socialists took a beating in local elections.

Valls, known as a centrist within the Socialist Party, had been serving as interior minister.

Ayrault, who stepped down earlier today, started off as the most popular prime minister in 50 years, but soon became the target of blame for Hollande’s inability to effect the change he had promised while campaigning for office.

"It is time today to open a new chapter," Hollande said in his televised remarks, proceeding to note that the new cabinet would be tighter.

He also said there would be tax cuts by 2017.

The change-up at the top of Hollande’s administration was widely expected given the outcome of the municipal elections, the first nationwide vote since Hollande won the presidency in 2012.

The municipal results saw the National Front (FN) take control of 11 towns and claim more than 1,200 municipal council seats nationwide, its best ever showing at the grassroots level of French politics and a stunning vindication of leader Marine Le Pen's efforts to extend its appeal.

It was also a night to savour for France's main opposition, the centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).

The party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy performed strongly across the country, seizing control of around 140 towns and cities, including some once considered bastions of the left.

In a rare consolation for Hollande, the Socialists held on to control of Paris, where Anne Hidalgo, 54, will become the first female mayor of the French capital after a victory that was far more comfortable than anyone had expected.

Nationwide, the UMP and its allies took just under 46 percent of the votes cast, the Socialists and other left-wing parties 40.5 percent and the FN and some smaller far right groups just under seven percent.

The rout for the Socialists is widely seen as a punishment for Hollande’s failure to turn around the euro zone's second largest economy and to tackle an unemployment rate stuck at more than 10 percent.

These failures are thought to have aggravated anger over other issues, such as crime and immigration, and increased disillusionment with mainstream politicians of all stripes.

The Socialists were not helped by a turnout estimated at around 62 percent of the electorate, which is low by French local election standards and was largely explained by large numbers of left-leaning voters staying at home.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
 

Date created : 2014-03-31

  • FRANCE

    Valls goes from France’s ‘top cop’ to prime minister

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French human rights defender becomes far-right mayor

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Battered Socialists hold Paris as far right makes gains in local elections

    Read more

COMMENT(S)