February 23, 2017 / 7:35 PM / 2 years ago

French green candidate Jadot withdraws from presidential race

French politician Yannick Jadot, green party EELV (Europe-Ecologie-les-Verts) candidate for the 2017 presidential election, attends a meeting focused on healthcare and health insurance in Paris, France, February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

PARIS (Reuters) - French greens party candidate Yannick Jadot on Thursday announced he was withdrawing from the presidential race and would support Socialist party candidate Benoit Hamon in the election in April and May.

“I am withdrawing as a candidate in the presidential election to take part in a great adventure,” he said on France 2 television, referring to a “marvelous” agreement which had been reached during the day with the Socialists.

Opinion polls have shown Jadot picking up only a very small percentage of votes in the election - between 1 and 2 percent.

Hamon himself, a leftwinger who was chosen at a Socialist-led primary in January, is trailing in fourth place in opinion polls - something which will exclude him from any runoff vote on May 7.

Hamon has sought to persuade hard-left veteran Jean-Luc Melenchon to pull out as candidate and join forces with him to give the Left a chance of retaining power, but Melenchon has so far refused to do so.

Additional reporting by Geert de Clercq, Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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