French President Hollande names Valls as new PM

French Interior minister Manuel Valls, left, and President Francois Hollande, after the weekly cabinet meeting in Paris, March 19, 2014.
President Francois Hollande has named Interior Minister Manuel Valls as France\’s next prime minister.
The French leader Monday named the country\’s popular interior minister, Manuel Valls, as the new premier, replacing Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who resigned after the electoral setback.
Voters across France rejected Socialist candidates in Sunday\’s elections, the first major balloting since Mr. Hollande was elected in 2012. His government is deeply unpopular, with a weak French economy, high unemployment and a decline in living standards for many people.
The Socialist Party lost control of 155 towns and cities to candidates from the main center-right opposition party, and another 11 to the far-right FN party. 
FN rebranded itself as more than an anti-immigrant political force and took control of more than 1,500 municipal offices, its best-ever performance. France\’s main opposition party, the Union for a Popular Movement, won a string of major towns once considered Socialist strongholds.
Source –  Agencies
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