Benoit Hamon delivers a speech during a rally for the launch of his "First of July movement." Photo: Jacques Demarthon/AFP
“Today I have decided to quit the Socialist Party. I am leaving the party but I am not giving up on the socialist ideal,” said the 50-year-old as he launched his new movement before a 11,000-strong crowd in Paris.
“The Socialist Party has perhaps had its time… My belief is that it is time to turn the page,” said Hamon who was the surprise winner of the Socialist nomination for president but who crashed in the first round of the vote in May.
Scoring just 6.2 percent, he finished a humiliating fifth as voters abandoned the former ruling party which has been crippled by deep ideological divisions.