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France's Hollande won't seek re-election

Thursday, December 01, 2016 - 00:57

President Francois Hollande announces he will not be seeking a second term next year, acknowledging his deep unpopularity. Rough Cut – subtitled (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Francois Hollande shocked France on Thursday by announcing he would not seek a second term next year, acknowledging his deep unpopularity and making way for another leftist candidate to take on conservative Francois Fillon and far-right leader Marine Le Pen. The surprise announcement - effectively an admission that by running again he would hurt his Socialist party's chances - marks the first time since France's fifth Republic was created in 1958 that an incumbent president has not sought a second mandate. "Today I am conscious of the risks that would result from a step -- my own -- that did not unite enough people behind me. I have therefore decided not to be a candidate for the presidential election," a sombre-looking Hollande said in a televised address. Dogged by high unemployment, Hollande is the least popular president in French polling history, yet his closest aides had consistently said he would run. After Britain's shock vote to quit the EU and the U.S. choice of Donald Trump as president, the election next April and May is on course to turn into another test of voters' anger with traditional elites, with Le Pen tapping into frustration with immigrants, austerity and the European Union.

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France's Hollande won't seek re-election

Thursday, December 01, 2016 - 00:57