Ex-president Hollande surprise candidate in French election

AFP - [email protected]
Ex-president Hollande surprise candidate in French election
Former French President Francois Hollande waves as he arrives to attend the annual dinner of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France at the Louvre Carrousel in Paris on May 6, 2024. Hollande has said he would stand again for parliament in the upcoming elections. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP)

Former French Socialist president Francois Hollande on Saturday said he is to stand again for parliament in legislative elections -- a political comeback that took even his allies on the left by surprise.


Hollande, France's president from 2012-2017, left office with record levels of unpopularity and is detested by some within the radical left while even the Socialist leadership regard him with suspicion.

But he has had a relatively high media profile in the weeks leading up to President Emmanuel Macron's dramatic calling of snap elections to combat the rise of the far right.

Hollande said he will stand as an MP for the southwestern Correze department for the New Popular Front, a left-wing union for the elections including Socialists, hard-left, Greens and Communists.

"An exceptional decision for an exceptional situation," Hollande told reporters in the department's main town of Tulle, describing his comeback.

Hollande has already backed the new broad left-wing union saying that we "must all do everything to make sure the far right does not come to power in France".

Hollande is not the first president to run for legislative elections after leaving the Elysee Palace. In 1984, three years after his defeat against Francois Mitterrand in presidential elections, Valery Giscard d'Estaing was elected MP for the Puy-de-Dome department.


Officially, the Socialist Party reacted cooly to the move with the head of its election commission Pierre Jouvet simply saying that it "takes note" of the candidacy.

But one senior party figure, asking not to be named, said they were "devastated" by the news while admitting: "We said we wanted the broadest possible left wing."

The elections, with a first round on June 30 and second on July 7, were called by Macron after the far right trounced his own centrist ruling party in this month's European elections.





Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also