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French Socialists pick leftwinger Benoit Hamon for presidential race

Monday, January 30, 2017 - 01:45

Socialist leftwinger Benoit Hamon wins the nomination for the French presidential race for his party, a result which could improve former economy minister Emmanuel Macron's chances of reaching the top job. Scarlett Cvitanovich reports.

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A show of solidarity between the winner and loser of France's Socialist party. Voters on Sunday (January 29) selecting radical left-winger Benoit Hamon as their presidential candidate, beating the more moderate and experienced former prime minister Manuel Valls. A move unlikely to help them win the presidency. During the campaign Valls labelled Hamon "the sandman" - a seller of dreams which would condemn the Socialist Party to an opposition role for years to come. Hamon enticing voters with the promise of giving each and every one a regular wage. Whether they work or not, be they billionares or paupers. The cost estimated to be around 350-billion euros ($374.82 billion). An ambitious overhaul of taxes will be pursued to fund it. The universal income pledged alongside promises to legalise cannabis, abandon diesel fuel and cancel debts between European Union countries. Hamon's win expected to boost the campaign of popular independent centrist Emmanuel Macron. Macron gaining a big group of middle-ground voters to aim at, and a better chance of beating his close rivals on the right and far-right. The Socialists, weak and divided after the deeply unpopular presidency of Francois Hollande, are given next to no chance of getting beyond the first round of the election in April. That's not deterring Hamon though - telling supporters the left is picking itself up, turning towards the future and wanting to win. The battle lines now clearly drawn for spring's election.

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French Socialists pick leftwinger Benoit Hamon for presidential race

Monday, January 30, 2017 - 01:45