French ex-premier pledges allegiance to Macron's movement

Why Emmanuel Macron matters to the whole world

Why Emmanuel Macron matters to the whole world

Emmanuel Macron's start-up political party was to announce on Thursday the names of several hundred candidates to do battle in a French parliamentary election that will decide how much power the centrist president-elect will enjoy once in office.

Mr Valls, a centre-leaning politician in favour of relaxing labour protections, had already thrown his support behind Mr Macron before the presidential election after losing to Benoit Hamon in the Socialist primary.

The 39-year-old centrist's victory over far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen in Sunday's election came as a huge relief to European Union allies who had feared another populist upheaval to follow Britain's vote last year to leave the EU and Donald Trump's election as USA president.

"I will be a candidate for the presidential majority", the 54-year-old Valls told RTL radio, while insisting he remained a Socialist and "a man of the left". Mr Valls is planning to run in the Essonne department, his fiefdom south of Paris, but Republic on the Move officials said his nomination will not be automatic. "His voice is not insignificant, but his candidacy will be treated as anyone else's".

Valls' overture received a non-committal response from Macron's party.

"This Socialist Party is dead, it is behind us", Valls added Tuesday. I'm not living with regrets.

The losers of the presidential election are aiming to capitalise on a general lack of enthusiasm for the pro- business Macron - whom many voters backed exclusively to bar Le Pen - to bounce back in the parliamentary vote.

Le Pen, 48, defiantly claimed the mantle of France's main opposition in calling on "all patriots to join us" in constituting a "new political force".

He has said he was aiming for an absolute majority in the lower chamber in June's elections.

The Republicans, whose scandal-hit candidate Francois Fillon crashed out in the first round of the presidential election, are hoping to come out tops in parliament and impose their choice of prime minister on Macron.

But many analysts believe the centrist movement is unlikely to win a majority and will be forced to govern in a coalition.

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