Why François Hollande chose not to stand for re-election


Under attack from within his own political camp, President François Hollande announced on Thursday night that he will not be standing for re-election in France's presidential elections next year. His decision, announced live on television, followed a period of high tension in the highest echelons of the state during which the head of state had come under fire from his own prime minister, Manuel Valls. Mediapart's Lénaïg Bredoux reports on what led the socialist president to take this momentous decision, the first time under France's Fifth Republic that a president has chosen not to seek a new term.

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In the end he knew that he was virtually entirely alone. And so at 8 p.m. local time President François Hollande, speaking live on television from the Elysée Palace, said that he would not put himself forward as a candidate for the 2017 presidential election. It is the first time a president in France's Fifth Republic has declined to seek re-election and came after a difficult presidency in which, little by little, the head of state has provoked despair among his own electorate, his political camp, his political family and many of his friends.