French Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls has announced that he will be standing in the 2017 presidential election, days after President Francois Hollande said that he will not be seeking re-election.
"My candidacy is one of reconciliation," said Valls. He said he wanted to "bring together" the divided French left following Hollande's decision not to pursue a second term in office.
"The time has come to go further in my [political] commitment," Valls said. He will step down as prime minister on Tuesday 6 December to prepare for the Socialist nomination. The primary will be held in January.
"I cannot be Prime Minister while being a candidate. I want to propose a new path for the French people in full liberty."
Valls even gave an insight on what kind of proposals he may be pushing for in his campaign. "I don't want that our children have less teachers and our towns and countryside have less police," he said in a tweet.
The prime minister also lashed out at Francois Fillon, who only last week won the conservative ticket for the 2017 presidential race. "I don't want our civil servants to work harder and earn less," he said, referring to Fillon's promise to make sweeping spending cuts, including slashing 500,000 civil servants, The Local added.
The leftwing primary takes place on 22 and 29 January.