Arnaud Montebourg announces presidential bid against former boss Hollande

22 Aug 16

Former French economy minister Arnaud Montebourg has announced his candidacy for next year’s presidential elections, and accused incumbent François Hollande of betraying the “ideals of the left”.


Arnaud Montebourg, former French economy minister

Arnaud Montebourg, former French economy minister, has announced his rival bid against former boss Francois Hollande


Montebourg was one of three rebel socialist ministers ejected from Hollande’s government in 2014 after they became increasingly critical of the president’s shift to a more pro-business stance.  

Speaking at a rally in Burgundy on Sunday, he announced his candidacy for the elections held in May and urged Hollande not to run for a second term.

Hollande, who has the lowest approval ratings of any modern French president, has said he will announce whether he intends to run again by the end of the year.  

According to Reuters, Montebourg, a vocal critic of the unpopular French premiere, said: “I shouldn’t be here proposing an alternative because that’s what we promised four years ago.

“But four years later and we are left with a feeling of waste. It is impossible to support the current president.”

He did not specify whether he would run in the party’s primaries or stand as an independent candidate.

Ending austerity while increasing spending, reversing the tax increases of the last five years and fighting globalisation would be key components of his manifesto, which he has dubbed “project France”.

The 53-year-old euroskeptic also vowed to overhaul the EU, which he said had “practically become a failed company”, and scrap the bloc’s ‘safe’ deficit limit of 3% of GDP.

The other two members of the trio that was expelled from government in 2014 are also vying for the presidency. Benoît Hamon is a socialist MP and former education minister, and Cecile Duflot is a former housing minister and green MP.  

Montebourg came third in a 2011 Socialist party presidential primary, winning around 17% of the vote.  

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