Glance at Socialist Party primary candidates

AP News
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Posted: Jan 21, 2017 11:48 AM
Glance at Socialist Party primary candidates

PARIS (AP) — A quick look at three main candidates and method of Sunday's vote for France's Socialist Party presidential candidate:

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MANUEL VALLS, 54

Resume: French interior minister from 2012-2014; French prime minister to December 2016. Handled the aftermath of terror attacks that killed 130 people in Paris in November 2015, won parliamentary approval for emergency powers and counterterrorism measures.

Pledges: Lower taxes for middle-class households; minimum income of 850 euros ($906) for adults with no other revenue; civic service for young people; boost police and defense.

Style: Bossy, experienced.

Weakness: Close association with unpopular Socialist President Francois Hollande, who has decided not to seek a second term.

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ARNAUD MONTEBOURG, 54

Resume: French economy minister from 2012-2014, left Hollande's government amid feuding on economic policies.

Pledges: To repeal labor law passed by Valls; to require CEOs to raise employees' wages if they raise their own; to grant 80 percent of public-sector contracts to French businesses.

Style: Outspoken, theatrical.

Weakness: Outspoken.

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BENOIT HAMON, 49

Resume: Former French junior minister, briefly education minister, former Socialist Party spokesman rebelled, with Montebourg, against Hollande's policies in 2014.

Pledges: To give 750 euros ($800) "universal income" gradually to all French adults; to tax robots; to legalize cannabis.

Style: Serious, sober.

Weakness: Inexperience at highest levels.

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VOTING METHOD:

Some 1.5 million-to-2 million people are expected at 7,500 polling stations on Sunday for this presidential primary. It is open to all voters who pay 1 euro ($1.04) and sign document saying they share the left's values. Seven candidates are running in all, including Vincent Peillon, Francois de Rugy, Sylvia Pinel and Jean-Luc Bennahmias. The top two advance to Jan. 29 runoff.